Summer 1939 • Vol. I No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1939 |

Limitations of the Fable

Over the Mountain. By Ruthven Todd. Knopf. $2.50The Professor. By Rex Warner. Knopf. $2.50 It could be argued that Franz Kafka is interesting as an illustration of an occasional phenomenon in art rather than as an artist; for it is evident that he is controlled by rather than in control of his materials. This is to say that Kafka’s books are the immediate representation of his own psycho-pathological characteristics. Anyone imitating him would necessarily have greater command over the method. Rex Warner, who has said, "The only modern novelist I like is Kafka,” obviously has this command. He takes over Kafka’s state of mind and transforms that into a technique; but he abandons Kafka’s maze of unconscious symbolism and substitutes as content his own highly conscious and particular political symbolism. In other words, he transforms Kafka’s novel of neurotic sensibility, whose interest is primarily psychological, into the novel of political ideas, whose interest is prim

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