PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
Next Issue Subha Mukherji Dying and Living with De la Mare Carl Phillips Fall Colors and other poems Alex Wylie The Bureaucratic Sublime: on the secret joys of contemporary poetry Marilyn Hacker Montpeyroux Sonnets David Herman Memories of Raymond Williams
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This article is taken from PN Review 3, Volume 4 Number 3, April - June 1978.

Introducing Herr Kraus C.J. Fox

'There is no English satirist.'
'Bernard Shaw.'
-Karl Kraus (1919)
In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader, ed. Harry Zohn, Montreal, Engendra Press.
Karl Kraus: Half-truths & One-and-a-half Truths: Selected Aphorisms, ed. and translated by Harry Zohn, Engendra Press.

OUT OF the 'Sanctimonious Ice-box', of all places-out of Canada, no less-come the first extensive translations of Karl Kraus. Harry Zohn, a native of Kraus's Vienna and now professor of Germanic and Slavic languages at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, is to be thanked profusely for editing these volumes, handsomely produced by an enterprising Montreal publishing firm.

The circumstances of their arrival here are appropriately apocalyptic if we are to believe the prophets of British national collapse, whose alarms have now become so piercing as to arouse a faint stir among even the most phlegmatic natives of these islands. Britain may not quite qualify as a 'research laboratory for world destruction', as Kraus found Vienna sixty years ago, but it is a similarly truncated ex-imperial power down on its financial luck (though apparently lacking the resilience which enabled Little Austria to recover, if only briefly, from the economic ravages of the First World War and the first cataclysmic tremors of the Great Depression).

Apocalyptic themes thunder through many of Kraus's pronouncements and the only touch one misses from the otherwise superb physical design of In These Great Times is a catastrophically convulsed city by Ludwig Meidner emblazoned across ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image