The Riddle of Hölderlin

Poems and Fragments

by Friedrich Hölderlin. (bilingual edition), translations by Michael Hamburger
When Hölderlin’s first works began to circulate in Germany in the 1790s, they met with limited response. Hölderlin was known to be a man of considerable poetic and intellectual power: both Hegel and Schelling, who had been his fellow-students at the theological seminary in Tübingen, had been struck by his …

The Literature of Nihilism

The Artist's Journey into the Interior and Other Essays

by Erich Heller

The German Tradition in Literature 1871-1945

by Ronald Gray
These two recent books on the German literary tradition serve to show that highly competent treatment of detail can be warped by a misleading general view. Both works deal with the same topic: the development in the history of German thought and literature that took place during the nineteenth century …

The Mask of Albert Camus

Notebooks 1942-1951

by Albert Camus, translated and annotated by Justin O'Brien
The subtle but radical change that separates the intellectual atmosphere of the Fifties from that of the Sixties could well be measured by one’s attitude towards the work and the person of Albert Camus. During his lifetime he was for many an exemplary figure; his work bears many traces of …

What is Modern?

The Modern Tradition: Backgrounds of Modern Literature

edited by Richard Ellmann, edited by Charles Feidelson Jr.
The full title of this substantial and ambitious anthology twice uses the word “modern,” thus stressing modernity as the key concept that binds together a miscellaneous collection of literary and philosophical essays dating from the second half of the eighteenth century till 1960. On the other hand, the title also …

Whatever Happened to Andre Gide?

Andre Gide: His Life and Art

by Wallace Fowlie

Marshlands and Prometheus Misbound

by André Gide, translated by George D. Painter
It has almost become a commonplace of today’s criticism to state that André Gide’s work had begun to fade away even before the author’s death in 1951. Compared to Proust, to Valéry, to Claudel, and, outside France, to Henry James, Joyce, and Thomas Mann, he seems hardly to be part …

A Modern Master


by Jorge Luis Borges, translated by Mildred Boyer and Harold Morland


by Jorge Luis Borges, edited by Donald Yates and James E. Irby
Although he has been writing poems, stories, and critical essays of the highest quality since 1923, the Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges is still much better known in Latin America than in the U. S. For the translator of John Peale Bishop. Hart Crane. E. E. Cummings. William Faulkner, Edgar Lee Masters, Robert Penn Warren, and Wallace Stevens, this neglect is somewhat unfair. There are signs however, that he is being discovered in this country with some of the same enthusiasm that greeted him in France, where he received major critical attention, and has been very well translated. Several volumes of translations in English have recently appeared.

Sartre’s Confessions

The Words

by Jean-Paul Sartre, Translated from the French by Bernard Frechtman
Last year, when Jean-Paul Sartre’s autobiography began to appear in his review Les Temps modernes, it stirred up great expectations among its readers. One had the impression of rediscovering a voice which had spoken with great authority in the past but which had lost some of its power in more …

Heidegger Reconsidered

What is Existentialism?

by William Barrett
The main interest of this book stems from the contrast between the two parts in which it is divided. They deal with the same topic—the work of the contemporary philosopher Martin Heidegger—but were written twelve years apart. The first essay originated shortly after the war, at a time when American …