Franz Kafka : A Biography by Max Brod
New York : Schocken Books, 1947. Hardcover. 236 pages ; 19 cm. $3.00 dust jacket with minimal wear. Previous owner name on flyleaf. Pages are age toned and unmarked. Binding is firm.
In many ways, Franz Kafka was an individual as anonymous and enigmatic as the heroes of his novels. No story of his life can entirely dispel this anonymity: it was too much a part of Kafka's being. But a biography can illuminate the problem, show its nature and sources and its expression in Kafka's life and work. Max Brod, himself a novelist, and Kafka's literary executor has done this. His biography is founded upon a lifelong personal association with the extraordinary genius of the European novel of the 20th century.
Most of Kafka's work was published after his death in 1924. With the passing of two decades, Kafka has come to exercise a profound influence on the art of the novel and on contemporary critical thought in Europe and the United States. Max Brod was a boyhood friend. When the two young men began literary work together in Prague, before World War I, Brod witnessed the outward expression of the singular inner struggle that was producing Kafka, the writer and thinker.
This book presents the events and developmental sequence of Kafka's short span of life. It portrays the child, the student, and the deeply affecting figure of the later years. Recreated here is the pattern of family life, social environment, work, and personal relations, from which Kafka made his departure to follow a special destiny into new realms of psychic and spiritual experience.
Since Kafka's death, the editing of his manuscripts and diaries for publication has been in Max Brod's hands. The fruits of that work, deepening Brod's exceptional knowledge of his subject, are contained in this biography.
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