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Kafka: The Decisive Years

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Kafka: The Decisive Years Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This is the acclaimed central volume of the definitive biography of Franz Kafka. Reiner Stach spent more than a decade working with over four thousand pages of journals, letters, and literary fragments, many never before available, to re-create the atmosphere in which Kafka lived and worked from 1910 to 1915, the most important and best-documented years of his life. This period, which would prove crucial to Kafka's writing and set the course for the rest of his life, saw him working with astonishing intensity on his most seminal writings--The Trial, The Metamorphosis, The Man Who Disappeared (Amerika), and The Judgment. These are also the years of Kafka's fascination with Zionism; of his tumultuous engagement to Felice Bauer; and of the outbreak of World War I.

Kafka: The Decisive Years is at once an extraordinary portrait of the writer and a startlingly original contribution to the art of literary biography.

About the Author

Reiner Stach worked extensively on the definitive edition of Kafka's collected works before embarking on this three-volume biography. The third volume, "Kafka: The Years of Insight" (Princeton), covering Kafka's final years, is also available. The first volume, covering Kafka's childhood and youth, is forthcoming.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

PROLOGUE: The Black Star 16

1 At Home with the Kafkas 21

2 Bachelors, Young and Old 42

3 Actors, Zionists, Wild People 54

4 Literature and Loneliness: Leipzig and Weimar 71

5 Last Stop Jungborn 86

6 A Young Lady from Berlin 94

7 The Ecstasy of Beginning: "The Judgment" and "The Stoker" 108

8 A Near Defenestration 119

9 The Girl, the Lady, and the Woman 134

10 Love and a Longing for Letters 145

11 Exultant Weeks, Little Intrigues 159

12 The Bauer Family 169

13 America and Back: The Man Who Disappeared 175

14 The Lives of Metaphors: "The Metamorphosis" 192

15 The Fear of Going Mad 206

16 Balkan War: The Massacre Next Door 226

17 1913 231

18 The Man Who Disappeared: Perfection and Disintegration 242

19 Invention and Exaggeration 253

20 Sexual Trepidation and Surrender 266

21 The Working World: High Tech and the Ghostsof Bureaucracy 281

22 The Proposal 297

23 Literature, Nothing but Literature 324

24 Three Congresses in Vienna 350

25 Trieste, Venice, Verona, Riva 368

26 Grete Bloch: The Messenger Arrives 379

27 An All-Time Low 390

28 Kafka and Musil 401

29 Matrimonial Plans and Asceticism 413

30 Tribunal in Berlin 433

31 The Great War 444

32 Self-Inflicted Justice: The Trial and "In the Penal Colony" 464

33 The Return of the East 484

34 The Grand Disruption 493

35 No-Man's-Land 508

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 517

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE 519

KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS 521

NOTES 523

BIBLIOGRAPHY 551

PHOTO CREDITS 563

INDEX 565

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691147413
Author:
Stach, Reiner
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Frisch, Shelley
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Subject:
Literature: Primary Works and Letters
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
37 halftones.
Pages:
552
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Young Adult » General

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