This strange and rather claustrophobic tale is set in the Weimar years, during the inflation -- during the middle part of it, not the later part of it (though published in 1925). It shows the typical Mann strains of suppressed neuroticism. The purile bourgeoisie is passing and Weimar culture is but a clown, created to cheer the dying child. The translation I read was neither very good nor very bad. At any rate, I know little about Mann, so will stop here.