Diaries, 1910-1923

ISBN-10: 0805209069
ISBN-13: 9780805209068
Edition: N/A
List price: $17.00 Buy it from $6.99
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Description: It is likely that these journals will be regarded as one of [Kafka's] major literary works; his life and personality were perfectly suited to the diary form, and in these pages he reveals what he customarily hid from the world." -- New Yorker "What  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/30/1988
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 528
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

It is likely that these journals will be regarded as one of [Kafka's] major literary works; his life and personality were perfectly suited to the diary form, and in these pages he reveals what he customarily hid from the world." -- New Yorker "What seems to hold [the diaries] together is a kind of ruthless honesty and self-awareness." -- New York Times Though Franz Kafka is one of the greatest and most widely read and discussed authors of the twentieth century, and continues to be a tremendous influence on artists of our time, he remains an elusive figure, his life and work open to endless interpretation. These diaries reveal the essential Kafka behind the enigmatic artist. Covering the period from 1910 to 1923, the year before Kafka's death at the age of forty, they provide a penetrating look into Kafka's world -- notes on life in Prague, accounts of his dreams, his feelings for the father he worshipped and for the woman he could not bring himself to marry, his sense of guilt and of being an outcast, and his struggles and triumphs in expressing himself as a writer. Now, for the first time in this country, the complete diaries of Franz Kafka are available in one volume. They are not only indispensable to an understanding of Kafka the man and the artist, but are a compulsively readable, haunting account of a life of almost unbearable intensity.

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, of middle-class Jewish parents. He apparently suffered a great deal of psychological pain at a young age at the hands of his domineering father. He took a law degree at the German University of Prague, then obtained a position in the workman's compensation division of the Austrian government. Always neurotic, insecure, and filled with a sense of inadequacy, Kafka's writing is a search for personal fulfillment and understanding. He wrote very slowly and deliberately, publishing very little in his lifetime. At his death he asked a close friend to burn his remaining manuscripts , but the friend refused the request. Instead the friend arranged for publication Kafka's longer stories, which have since brought him worldwide fame and have influenced many contemporary writers. Kafka's stories are nightmarish tales in which a helpless central character's every move is controlled by heartless, impersonal forces. An example is his 1938 psychological thriller, "The Metamorphosis." The story centers around a salesman named Gregor, who wakes up one morning and finds he is no longer a man but a giant insect. In today's increasingly complex, technological, and bureaucratic societies, Kafka has found a growing audience of sympathetic readers who understand the feeling of powerlessness Kafka's heroes experienced.

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