Kasack


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Ka`sack´

    (kăt)
n.1.(Ethnol.) Same as Cossack.
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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).
He mentions, with qualified praise, literary works by the German authors Boll, Arno Schmidt, and Hermann Kasack, as well as non-German eyewitness reports by Stig Dagerman and Janet Flanner, among others.
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.
George's poetry was associated with classical sculpture by Hermann Kasack: 'statuarische, geschlossene Form', (34) and Rilke's with music by Weinheber: 'jenes Unverwechselbare der rilkeischen Musik' (Weinheber, Samtliche Werke, IV, 167).
The volume consists of thirteen chapters, authored either by Beitz himself or by colleagues with expertise on certain authors (e.g., Ingrid Schafer on Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova) or literary traditions (the excursus on the "third wave" of emigration by the Cologne Slavicist Wolfgang Kasack).