Academic journal article German Quarterly

Franz Kafka: Internationale Bibliographie der Primar- und Sekundarliteratur. International Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Literature

Academic journal article German Quarterly

Franz Kafka: Internationale Bibliographie der Primar- und Sekundarliteratur. International Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Literature

Article excerpt

Caputo-Mayr, Maria Luise and Julius Michael Herz, eds. Franz Kafka: Internationale Bibliographie der Primar-und Sekundarliteratur. International Bibliography of Primary and secondary Literature. 2^sup nd^ enlarged and revised edition. Vols. I, II/1, 2. Munchen: K.G. Saur, 2000. 1113 pp. $495.00 hardcover.

For anyone seriously interested in Kafka and Kafka studies, this second, revised and enlarged edition of Maria Luise Caputo-Mayr's and julius Michael Herz's bibliography will surely prove indispensable. To the primary and secondary literature, from 1955-1980, listed in the first edition, it adds the primary and secondary publications from 1980-1997, plus addenda from the time span of the first edition. A vivid testimonial to the rapidly increasing growth of world-wide interest in Kafka, the additions have doubled the size of both primary and secondary literature volumes. The two volumes of the new edition comprise three individual books. The first lists the primary literature up to 1997, and the two books of the second volume deal with the secondary literature from 1955-1997.

The two introductions, to the first and the second edition, the table of contents, the com-mentaries to books of secondary literature, and the indices-works and names, and subjects-appear in German and English, an important concession to the global interest in Kafka. This bibliography makes it abundantly evident that Kafka has become a truly global author-probably surpassing in his reach all other writers of German.

The commentaries on, or summaries of, many works of secondary literature enhance immeasurably the usefulness of this bibliography as a research tool. Clear, concise, and packed with information, they are most valuable in furnishing first-glance orientation about theme and argument, method and approach, strengths and limitations of works of scholarship and literary criticism on Kafka. Given their very limited space, the thoroughness of the commentaries is remarkable.

However, the insertion of commentaries is not consistent. In quite a few instances, they are missing. Generally books in German, English, Italian, and, to a lesser extent, French, Dutch, and occasionally Hungarian, are very well served. The numerous studies in more "exotic" languages less accessible to Western readers, such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, Czech, etc., but surprisingly often also Spanish, get no summary. Given limited resources and the dearth of linguistically competent collaborators, those are very understandable, but nevertheless regrettable omissions that highlight by their absence the great value and excellence of the commentaries where they are given. …

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