Books: The Tragic Sense of Life

FRANZ KAFKA (236 pp.)—Max Brod —Schocken ($3).

The rouge applied by an undertaker to the lips of a 20th Century corpse is one measure of 20th Century civilization. But modern man's effort to deny or minimize death is part of a much more important necessity—the need to deny or minimize God.

Hence the paradox that the more civilization calls itself civilized, the more imperturbably it shrugs at the death of men by millions. Hence, too, the surprising fact that the name of one of the century's three or four most remarkable writers is still practically...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!