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Politics and Fiction and Other Letters to the Editor



Politics and Fiction and Other Letters to the Editor

More Politics, More Fiction

To the Editor:

Your appealingly conceived Sept. 13 feature on political novels might disappoint some readers for ultimately confining itself to so few of the great political novels of the last 100 years.

Here are some titles that might help redress your focus on a mere handful of books: Robert Coover’s “The Public Burning” and Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America” and, moving abroad, Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” Alberto Moravia’s “The Conformist,” Thomas Mann’s “Dr. Faustus,” Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago,” Mario Vargas Llosa’s “Conversation in the Cathedral,” V. S. Naipaul’s “A Bend in the River,” Yukio Mishima’s “Runaway Horses,” George Orwell’s “1984” and Nicholas Mosley’s “Hopeful Monsters.”

Alexander Hicks
♦To the Editor:There is a back story to Klaus Mann’s novel “Mephisto,” which is not noted in Margaret Atwood’s delightful short essay about reading the novel while living in Germany in 1984 (“Politics in Fiction,” Sept. 13). The novel is a roman à clef based on the legendary German actor and director Gustaf Gründgens, who had worked with Mann in the theater and briefly married his sister Erika, before making a Faust-like pact with the Nazis and becoming a protégé of Hermann Göring and director of the […]

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