From Library Journal
In this sometimes rambling psychohistory of anti-Semitism in fin-de-siecle Europe, Gillman, president-elect of the Modern Language Association, implies that internalized Jewish emasculation, as seen in Kafka, and the shattering of the new, fragile trust in the rule of law caused by the Dreyfus affair were among the antecedents of the rise of Nazism. Kafka internalized the notion, firmly implanted in the European mind, of the Jew as a sick body. Kafka's own tuberculosis even fit the theory-later tested in death-camp experiments-that physical inferiority rendered Jews unable to resist that disease. Examined in the light of Kafka's own medical records, many of his stories, like "In the Penal Colony," reflect this idea of the Jewish body testifying to its own unworthiness. Documentation, including illustrations from popular magazines, is abundant in Gillman's work. Unfortunately, so is psychobabble-which often recasts logical contradiction as disguised affirmation. Recommended for specialists.Alan Cooper, York Coll., CUNY
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