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Bad Faith

J.P. Stern, 21 July 1983

Franz Kafka’s Loneliness 
by Marthe Robert, translated by Ralph Manheim.
Faber, 251 pp., £12.50, October 1982, 9780571119455
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Kafka’s Narrators 
by Roy Pascal.
Cambridge, 251 pp., £22.50, March 1982, 0 521 24365 3
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The Trial 
by Franz Kafka, translated by Willa Muir and Edwin Muir.
Penguin, 255 pp., £1.75, October 1983, 0 14 000907 8
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Letters to Milena 
by Franz Kafka and Willy Haas, translated by Tania Stern and James Stern.
Penguin, 188 pp., £2.50, June 1983, 0 14 006380 3
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The Penguin Complete Novels of Franz Kafka: ‘The Trial’, ‘The Castle’, ‘America’ 
translated by Willa Muir, illustrated by Edwin Muir.
Penguin, 638 pp., £4.95, June 1983, 0 14 009009 6
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The Penguin Complete Short Stories of Franz Kafka 
edited by Nahum Glatzer.
Penguin, 486 pp., £3.95, June 1983, 0 14 009008 8
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... mentions it, it is good to be able to record that this story is at last coming into its own. When Roy Pascal died in 1980, he had all but completed a manuscript on the various kinds of narrative point of view that are to be found in Kafka’s stories and fragments. The book begins with a succinct and outstandingly interesting account of the evolution of ...

An English Vice

Bernard Bergonzi, 21 February 1985

The Turning Key: Autobiography and the Subjective Impulse since 1800 
by Jerome Hamilton Buckley.
Harvard, 191 pp., £12.75, April 1984, 0 674 91330 2
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The Art of Autobiography in 19th and 20th-Century England 
by A.O.J. Cockshut.
Yale, 222 pp., £10.95, September 1984, 0 300 03235 8
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... the institutionalising of literary study it has been comparatively neglected by academic critics. Roy Pascal’s Design and Truth in Autobiography, published nearly twenty-five years ago, remains an indispensable pioneering work; more recently John Pilling’s Autobiography and Imagination provided some interesting studies of particular autobiographies ...

A Human Kafka

Gabriel Josipovici, 5 March 1981

The World of Franz Kafka 
edited by J.P. Stern.
Weidenfeld, 263 pp., £9.95, January 1981, 0 297 77845 5
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... anguish. This book is a celebration of that Kafka. Its epigraph could well be this sentence from Roy Fuller’s splendid essay, which sets out to overturn Brod’s view that Kafka’s daily stint at the Insurance Office was totally destructive: ‘There are advantages,’ Fuller writes, ‘in a life, however disagreeable, that constantly pits such a writer ...

Tissue Wars

Roy Porter: HIV and Aids, 2 March 2000

The River: A Journey Back to the Source of HIV and Aids 
by Edward Hooper.
Allen Lane, 1070 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7139 9335 9
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... than informative. He relates the weird epistolary encounters he had with his US counterpart, Louis Pascal, a reclusive New York OPV/Aids hypothesis champion. Initially affable, Pascal turned sour, withheld information, started manipulating Hooper, and relations ceased with Hooper calling him ‘paranoid’. Might the boot be ...

Gaul’s Seven Parts

Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, 3 December 1981

The Youth of Vichy France 
by W.D. Halls.
Oxford, 492 pp., £20, May 1981, 0 19 822577 6
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... not join in the volley of execration justifiably aimed by historians such as Robert Paxton and Pascal Ory at those anti-semitic policies of the regime which at first anticipated but later fell behind those of the Germans. He shows little real interest in the basic continuities, even though they demonstrate the remarkable vitality of the country during ...

Oh, My Aching Back

Roy Porter, 2 November 1995

TheHistory of Pain 
by Roselyne Rey, translated by Elliott Wallace and J.A. Cadden , and S.W. Cadden.
Harvard, 394 pp., £25.50, October 1995, 0 674 39967 6
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... From the Church Fathers, through St Ignatius Loyola and Pascal to the Marquis de Sade, the problem of pain was agonisingly debated, not least because mortification was holiness and judicial torture the authorised engine of truth. But nowadays, pain, in either its medical or its metaphysical aspects, is oddly little discussed given the ubiquitous misery it causes ...

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