Frederick Karl

Biography of Frederick Karl

Frederick Karl (1927-2004) was a literary biographer, best known for his work on Joseph Conrad, a literary critic, and an editor. He spent 25 years teaching at City College of New York and then followed with 18 years at New York University.

His first work, A Reader's Guide to Great 20th-Century English Novels, discussed writers such as E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf and Conrad. He went on to write extensive biographies about Conrad, William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, and George Eliot. He also edited a multi-volume series, Biography and Source Studies, and co-edited a volume of letters between Conrad and Laurence Davies.

In 1968, he signed the “Writers and Editors War Tax Protest” pledge, vowing to refuse tax payments in protest against the Vietnam War.

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