The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review

By John Crowe Ransom | Go to book overview

Eliseo Vivas


KAFKA'S DISTORTED MASK

ONE need not read very far into The Kafka Problem1 to see how grievously Kafka has suffered at the hands of some of his critics. Mr. Flores has thrown together, unembarrassed by any controlling criterion, a large number of articles, reviews and appreciations of Kafka, of diverse value and gathered from many European languages. A few essays, like that of the French critic Miss Claude-Edmonde Magny, are penetrating studies worthy of their subject. But the problem which most of these pieces raise is as to why the editor should have wanted to rescue them from discreet obscurity. Fortunately, if you want to check for yourself the validity of the various interpretations which have been foisted on Kafka, you are no longer obstructed by the difficulty which has confronted his slowly growing public during the last four or five years. For recently both his German publishers, now established in this country, and his various American publishers, have reprinted --although sometimes at fantastic prices--books of Kafka which it has been hitherto impossible to find. One of these publications is the indispensable biography by Max Brod which has been translated into English.

If one may judge by Flores' volume and by a few other essays which for some reason were left out of this democratic collection, "the Kafka problem" arises from the confused demands made by

____________________
1
The Kafka Problem, edited by Angel Flores ( New York: New Directions Press, 1946).

-58-

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The Kenyon Critics: Studies in Modern Literature from the Kenyon Review
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • Essays 1
  • The Sorrows Of Thomas Wolfe 3
  • Pure And Impure Poetry 12
  • Myth And Dialectic in the Later Novels Of Henry James 17
  • Kafka's Distorted Mask 58
  • Joyce's Ulysses and the French Public 75
  • Robartes And Aherne: Two Sides of a Penny 88
  • The Stone And The Crucifixion: Faulkner's - Light in August 115
  • Emotions In Poems 127
  • Monsieur Verdoux As Theatre 138
  • The Good Ford 151
  • Parody And Critique: Notes on Thomas Mann's - Doctor Faustus 182
  • Novel into Film: - All the King's Men 225
  • Wordsworth And the Iron Time 233
  • Book Reviews 253
  • The Loud Hill Of Wales 255
  • Q's Revisions 259
  • The Whole Of Housman 263
  • Neither Historian nor Critic 267
  • The Humble Animal 277
  • Satan And Denis De Rougemont 281
  • The Everlasting Mr. Huxley 289
  • Dry Watershed 298
  • The Hellenism Of Robinson Jeffers 307
  • The Cost Of Distraction 312
  • Aristocracy And/Or Christianity 324
  • Bibliography 341
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