Books: An Old Man's Art

CONFESSIONS OF FELIX KRULL, CONFIDENCE MAN (384 pp.)—Thomas Mann—franslafed by Denver Lindley—Knopf ($4.50).

"I have to learn how to say goodbye," Thomas Mann said to a visitor not long before his death last month. "That is an old man's art." The last novel to leave his pen is a charming show of how well the old man learned that old man's art. It is a gay goodbye—as gay as Mann could ever get. And yet his last words will also provoke serious interpretation. Felix Krull is a picaresque novel, and it stands, looking sometimes a little lump ish, in the raffish succession...

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