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Glaser, F.B. (1964). The Case of Franz Kafka. Psychoanal. Rev., 51A(1):99-121.

(1964). Psychoanalytic Review, 51A(1):99-121

The Case of Franz Kafka

Frederick B. Glaser, M.D.

I propose a Shakespeare under the influence of the Stoicism of Seneca. But I do not believe that Shakespeare was under the influence of Seneca. I propose it largely because I believe that after the Montaigne Shakespeare (not that Montaigne had any philosophy whatever) and after the Machiavelli Shakespeare, a stoical or Senecan Shakespeare is almost certain to be produced. I wish merely to disinfect the Senecan Shakespeare before he appears. My ambitions would be realized if I could prevent him, in so doing, from appearing at all.


Mr. Eliot's ambitions for Shakespeare are laudable and, quite fortunately, possible of achievement. The value of such a critical study can be more readily seen if, for example, we imagined that Eliot had made such an attack on the more pernicious Baconian theory of Shakespearean authorship before it had got off the ground. But it often happens that such theories become quite well-established prior to critical consideration, and the approach of Mr. Eliot no longer obtains.

Preventive medicine of the Eliot variety can no longer be practiced in the case of Franz Kafka with respect to the theory that the modern classics which flowed from him were very largely the products of a diseased mind.

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