Letters to Milena

Author: Franz Kafka

Publisher: Schocken

ISBN: 080415077X

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 320

View: 5756

In no other work does Franz Kafka reveal himself as in Letters to Milena, which begins as a business correspondence but soon develops into a passionate but doomed epistolary love affair. Kafka's Czech translator, Milena Jesenska, was a gifted and charismatic twenty-three-year-old who was uniquely able to recognize Kafka's complex genius and his even more complex character. For the thirty-six-year-old Kafka, she was "a living fire, such as I have never seen." It was to Milena that he revealed his most intimate self and, eventually, entrusted his diaries for safekeeping. "The voice of Kafka in Letters to Milena is more personal, more pure, and more painful than in his fiction: a testimony to human existence and to our eternal wait for the impossible. A marvelous new edition of a classic text." —Jan Kott

A Franz Kafka Encyclopedia

Author: Richard T. Gray,Ruth V. Gross,Clayton Koelb,Rolf J. Goebel

Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780313303753

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 344

View: 1204

More than 800 alphabetically arranged entries detail the life and works of one of the most enduring authors of world literature.

Postcards from Absurdistan

Author: Derek Sayer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 069118545X

Category: History

Page: 752

View: 1465

A sweeping history of a twentieth-century Prague torn between fascism, communism, and democracy—with lessons for a world again threatened by dictatorship Postcards from Absurdistan is a cultural and political history of Prague from 1938, when the Nazis destroyed Czechoslovakia’s artistically vibrant liberal democracy, to 1989, when the country’s socialist regime collapsed after more than four decades of communist dictatorship. Derek Sayer shows that Prague’s twentieth century, far from being a story of inexorable progress toward some “end of history,” whether fascist, communist, or democratic, was a tragicomedy of recurring nightmares played out in a land Czech dissidents dubbed Absurdistan. Situated in the eye of the storms that shaped the modern world, Prague holds up an unsettling mirror to the absurdities and dangers of our own times. In a brilliant narrative, Sayer weaves a vivid montage of the lives of individual Praguers—poets and politicians, architects and athletes, journalists and filmmakers, artists, musicians, and comedians—caught up in the crosscurrents of the turbulent half century following the Nazi invasion. This is the territory of the ideologist, the collaborator, the informer, the apparatchik, the dissident, the outsider, the torturer, and the refugee—not to mention the innocent bystander who is always looking the other way and Václav Havel’s greengrocer whose knowing complicity allows the show to go on. Over and over, Prague exposes modernity’s dreamworlds of progress as confections of kitsch. In a time when democracy is once again under global assault, Postcards from Absurdistan is an unforgettable portrait of a city that illuminates the predicaments of the modern world.


Author: Reiner Stach

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140086545X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 696

View: 2086

Telling the story of Kafka's final years as never before—the third volume in the acclaimed definitive biography This volume of Reiner Stach's acclaimed and definitive biography of Franz Kafka tells the story of the final years of the writer's life, from 1916 to 1924—a period during which the world Kafka had known came to an end. Stach's riveting narrative, which reflects the latest findings about Kafka's life and works, draws readers in with nearly cinematic precision, zooming in for extreme close-ups of Kafka's personal life, then pulling back for panoramic shots of a wider world blighted by World War I, disease, and inflation. In these years, Kafka was spared military service at the front, yet his work as a civil servant brought him into chilling proximity with its grim realities. He was witness to unspeakable misery, lost the financial security he had been counting on to lead the life of a writer, and remained captive for years in his hometown of Prague. The outbreak of tuberculosis and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire constituted a double shock for Kafka, and made him agonizingly aware of his increasing rootlessness. He began to pose broader existential questions, and his writing grew terser and more reflective, from the parable-like Country Doctor stories and A Hunger Artist to The Castle. A door seemed to open in the form of a passionate relationship with the Czech journalist Milena Jesenská. But the romance was unfulfilled and Kafka, an incurably ill German Jew with a Czech passport, continued to suffer. However, his predicament only sharpened his perceptiveness, and the final period of his life became the years of insight.

The Animal in the Synagogue

Author: Dan Miron

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 1498595146

Category: Religion

Page: 164

View: 1885

This book argues that both Franz Kafka’s personality and his literary activity were perceived by himself as exemplifying the modern Jewish predicament of aspiring to modernity while being tied to a past-civilization, thus finding oneself struggling in a vacuum.

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century

Author: Derek Sayer

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400865441

Category: History

Page: 624

View: 1831

The story of modernity told through a cultural history of twentieth-century Prague Setting out to recover the roots of modernity in the boulevards, interiors, and arcades of the "city of light," Walter Benjamin dubbed Paris "the capital of the nineteenth century." In this eagerly anticipated sequel to his acclaimed Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History, Derek Sayer argues that Prague could well be seen as the capital of the much darker twentieth century. Ranging across twentieth-century Prague's astonishingly vibrant and always surprising human landscape, this richly illustrated cultural history describes how the city has experienced (and suffered) more ways of being modern than perhaps any other metropolis. Located at the crossroads of struggles between democratic, communist, and fascist visions of the modern world, twentieth-century Prague witnessed revolutions and invasions, national liberation and ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust, show trials, and snuffed-out dreams of "socialism with a human face." Yet between the wars, when Prague was the capital of Europe's most easterly parliamentary democracy, it was also a hotbed of artistic and architectural modernism, and a center of surrealism second only to Paris. Focusing on these years, Sayer explores Prague's spectacular modern buildings, monuments, paintings, books, films, operas, exhibitions, and much more. A place where the utopian fantasies of the century repeatedly unraveled, Prague was tailor-made for surrealist André Breton's "black humor," and Sayer discusses the way the city produced unrivaled connoisseurs of grim comedy, from Franz Kafka and Jaroslav Hasek to Milan Kundera and Václav Havel. A masterful and unforgettable account of a city where an idling flaneur could just as easily be a secret policeman, this book vividly shows why Prague can teach us so much about the twentieth century and what made us who we are.

Reinscribing Moses

Author: Bluma Goldstein

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674754065

Category: Social Science

Page: 236

View: 6466

Examines problems of German-Jewish and Austrian-Jewish identity through analysis of the figure of Moses in the works of Heine, Kafka, Freud, and Schoenberg. Discusses the view of Moses as the liberator of oppressed Jewry on the background of antisemitism in 19th-20th century Europe. See especially pp. 69-77, "Freud and Antisemitism".