Review: Gustave Kahn, The Solar Circus, trans. by Sam Kunkel (Michigan City, IN: First to Knock, 2023)


  • Richard Shyrock


Given the vast number and variety of contributions Gustave Kahn made to the French literary and artistic fields in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it is surprising he is not better known in France or elsewhere. Kahn was an exceptionally multi-faceted author and critic who, among other achievements, had a major impact on free verse in France and the development of the French Symbolist movement in the 1880s and 90s. In the early twentieth century, Kahn was a significant influence on F. T. Marinetti, the Italian founder of Futurism. During the 1920s and 30s, Khan played a major role in the French Jewish cultural renaissance. This prolific writer published more than 1600 articles, books, and poems during a fifty-year period from 1886 to his death in 1936, and his art criticism is still read to this day.