Page 42 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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JEWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
36
is being developed. But sound students of Kafka’s writings look
to them less for divine than for human meanings. In
Franz Kafka\
an interpretation of his works by Herbert Tauber [translated
from the German by G. Humphreys Roberts and Roger Senhouse]
(New Haven, Yale, 1948), all the writings of Kafka are examined
in close detail in an effort to explain what they mean symbolically.
More than in his literary works, Kafka reveals himself best through
his
Diaries
, the final and second volume of which covers the years
1914-1923, edited by Max Brod [translated by Martin Greenberg
and Hannah Arendt] (N. Y., Schocken, 1949). I t breaks off one
year before Kafka’s death at the time his inner turmoil and
conflict were at their worst. More than in any of his other writings,
Kafka’s
Diaries
reveal the richness of his inner life, in spite of,
and often because of his conflicts, desires and loneliness.
Among the eminent men of letters who were among Kafka’s
contemporaries are Andre Gide, D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce,
Marcel Proust and others. In
The two worlds of Marcel Proust
, by
Harold March (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, 1948),
an admirable interpretation of his life and writings is offered.
Proust’s father, a distinguished physician, came of a Catholic
family, but his mother was an adherent of the Jewish faith. Mr.
March shows that Proust’s love for his mother was obsessive. His
findings are fully confirmed in the pages of
The journals of Andre
Gide
(N. Y., Knopf, 1948), the second volume of which covers
his forty-fifth to his fifty-eighth year, a period of deep spiritual
self-probing and intense literary activity. They record his tor-
mented groping for faith, his reflections on the Jewish question,
his judgment of a variety of subjects and appraisal of a number of
eminent men.
A warm biography of the gifted nineteenth century American
poet who wrote the famous lines that are inscribed on the Statue
of Liberty is offered in
The world of Emma Lazarus
, by Heinrich
Eduard Jacob (N. Y., Schocken, 1949). I t was issued on the
occasion of the centennial of her birth.
Melech Epstein is the author of an appreciative study of
Israel
Feinberg
, fighter for freedom and social justice (N. Y., 1948),
which was issued and distributed by the Joint Board of the
Cloakmaker’s Union of the International Ladies Garment Workers
Union of which Mr. Feinberg has now, for many years, been the
able leader. I t carries an introduction by David Dubinsky. The
life of a truly great labor leader is presented in
Sidney Hillman\
labor statesman: a story in pictures and text of the man and the
Amalgamated by Leon Giovannitti, with an introduction by J.
B. S. Hardman (N. Y., Amalgamated Clothing Workers of Amer-
ica, 1948).