To the Editor:
I should like a word with Friedrich Torberg, whose letter on the subject of Franz Kafka appeared in the August issue of COMMENTARY. Mr. Torberg wastes time and energy defending Kafka’s Jewishness. It doesn’t really matter whether he was Jewish, or, rather, how Jewish he was. Kafka’s stature is not affected by making him “all Jew” or “no Jew.” With the “Jewish oversoul” squeezed in or out of him, he remains the same. He should be judged, as any man should, by what he has contributed to the world; let us not bicker over trivialities. Some Czechs will call him a great Czech. Some Jews will consider him a great Jew. An open and honest mind will like to think of him as a great man.
B. F. Smith