Hermann Kasack

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kasack, Hermann


Born July 24, 1896, in Potsdam; died Jan. 10, 1966, in Stuttgart. West German writer.

Kasack was a philosopher by education. The early expressionistic lyricism of his work, exemplified by the play Tragic Mission (1917; published in 1920) and the collection of verse Man (1918), was later replaced by speculative poetry, strict in form and full of mysticism. The latter is found in the collections Eternal Truth (1943) and Watermark (1964). His novels The City Beyond the River (1947) and The Big Net (1952) were close in style to those of Kafka. Kasack’s novellas The Cloth Machine (1949) and The Forgeries (1953) were strongly antifascist and dealt with the theme of the degradation of man in capitalist society, although their social criticism was blunted by the influence of existentialism. Kasack’s other work included a collection of essays entitled Mosaic (1956). In 1949 he was awarded the Fontane Prize.


Das unbekannte Ziel, Ausgewählte Proben und Arbeiten. Frankfurt-am-Main, 1963.
In Russian translation:
“Mekhanicheskii dvoinik.” Sovetskaia kul’tura, Nov. 3, 1960.


Bader, I. M. Die Maske in H. Kasacks erzählender Dichtung. Berlin, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the next essay Thomas Pekar attempts a comparison of exile works by Anna Seghers and Thomas Mann and early post-war works by Hermann Kasack and Elisabeth Langgasser, focusing on experiences of delocalization and katabasis (the visit to the land of the dead, the most extreme form of delocalization).
The list is surprisingly long, but few, if any, are up to the task: Hermann Kasack, whose The City Beyond the River (1947) Sebald regards as the "key text" in this group, is guilty of "ignoring the appalling reality of collective catastrophe" and reverting to "the code of the Fascist intellectual world." Other contemporaries fare no better: Hans Erich Nossack indulges in "false notions of transcendence"; Arno Schmidt buries himself in "linguistic fretwork"; Peter de Mendelssohn is just plain "embarrassing."
Schami's novel, perhaps suggested by Hermann Kasack's earlier Mechanischer Doppelganger, is cleverly done and provides the reader with an aspect of an author's life which is generally unknown.