struggling masses much in the same waynhis drinking bouts highlighted his termnas vice president of the National DefensenAssociation, a temperance organization.nIn existentialist terms, you could expressnJack London’s entire sojourn on earthnunder the label “bad faith.” Perry’snbiography is 2. post facto lie-detector testnwith London’s testimony on nearly everynsubject torturing the poor machinenbeyond its parameters. His views onnwomen drive the needle right off thenchart—striding with the Suffragettes innhis public life, inwardly haunted by fearsnof impotence and rage. His treatment ofnhis first wife, Bessie Madern, and theirnthree daughters would make good lyricsnfor a mournful country ballad. Part of hisnmotivation for divorce, the main reasonnbeing chronic infidelity, was his disappointmentnat not conceiving a male heir.nI’ve never forgotten how gloatinglynLondon permitted the sled with flightynMercedes and her two dudish accomplices,nHal and Charles, to fall under thenice of the Yukon while John Thorntonnand Buck gaze at them impassively.nAt a display of children’s “condensednclassics” I thumbed through a copy ofnCall of the Wildxa see if today’s enlightenedneditors had done anything to moderatenthat vicious scene. It astonished mento see that this scene was intact, completenwith an illustration of the woman flingingnup her arms as the icy waters billownher Victorian dress. Women are respectednin London’ s books only insofar asnthey resemble burly teamsters withnmammary glands and the morals of anjackrabbit. As they were normally consdtutednin his day, women were weaklingsn, and there was no room on earth fornsuch creamres in London’s cosmos. Mostnof the other races fell under his callousntheory of white supremacy, althoughnLondon came to beUeve that the “yellow-skins”nwere to inherit the earth (exceptnfor the Chinese—he prophesiednthey would be exterminated by chemicalnwarfare by 1976).nPerry’s account of London’s literaryntechniques, including his propensity fornrecycling previously published tales.n16nChronicles of Culturenplagiarism, and underpaying SinclairnLewis and George Sterling, amongnothers, for story ideas, is well done. I’mnnot sure the time spent on literary exegesisnof London’s morbid yarns is worthnthe candle, but it does amaze one hownthirsty for print the journals of 70 yearsnago were. Aside from Perry’s occasionalnrepetitiousness and the fact that London’snlife was so full of obscuring lies thatnno real personality evolves from this in­nvestigation, the book is a good antidotento Irving Stone’s Sailor on Horseback.nJxonald Hayman’s Kafka, on thenother hand, is all about personality, or asnmuch of the personality of Franz Kafka asnone can stand at any one time. Haymannthoroughly annotates Kafka’s life fromnhis massive diaries. Franz Kafka, unlikenJack London, loved to write. WhereasnLondon wrote so his readers could escapento the Frozen North orSouthSeas, Kafkanwrote to escape. London was definitelynoverpublished in his day; Kafka wasnunknown and virtually unpublished innhis time.nKafka’s biography is the story ofnwriter’s jitters blown to heroic proportions.nHe was totally dedicated to literature;nhis whole personality, however,ncould be summed up as that of a writernwith writing block looking for resolution.nSomeone once referred to him asnthe “artist as anorexic,” and the psychosomaticnappropriateness of his battlennnwith constipation, which led him tonnaturopathic quack diets and ultimatelynmberculosis, can be seen as a physicalnmanifestation of a hellish creative drive.nLike Soren Kierkegaard, Kafka underwentna gmeling, miscarried engagementnto a woman he loathed; he searchednthrough the rejection he anticipatednfrom his affianced for masochistic confirmationnof his worthlessness. Both Kierkegaardnand Kafka had been condemnednby their fathers. Kierkegaard foundnhis relationship with his father in Abrahamnsacrificing Isaac and he spent his lifenblasting complacent, Laodecian StatenProtestantism. Kafka, unfortunately,nspent almost the whole of his life nextndoor to his grumbling, accusatorynpattiarch in a cramped Prague apartment.nJVakfa’s life’s work is a documentationnof his dreams, which has been andream come true for literary trash-siftersnsteeped in Freudian analysis. Hayman’snbiography is destined to burst a fewnacademic bubbles. In collating and comparingnall the images repeated in hisnstories, diaries, and letters, Haymannleaves little room left for dreary fabulistsnwho’ve mined Kafka’s tales withoutnchecking in with the sources of his nightmarishnimages. The professor who informednme that the two guards who takenJoseph K. 3.wa.y in DerProzess (The Trial)nwere symbolic of his testicles (they are then”closest to him”) may be given an extendednsabbatical to attend remedialnreading lessons as this book gains thenrecognition it deserves.nFranz Kafka differs most radicallynfrom Jack London in that he is the mostnhonest fellow I’ve ever read about. Duringnhis ill-fated five-year engagement tonFelice Bauer he felt obliged to mentionnto her his passing affairs, including onenwith her best friend, Grete Bloch. Afternthe engagement finally became impossible,nhe became consumptive. The diseasengave him an excuse for his “failure to procreate,”na fault of which his father subdynaccused him. While making the round ofnBohemian sanatoriums and pensions, henwas lured into another affair with Julien