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Franz Kafka: The Office Writings

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Franz Kafka: The Office Writings Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Kafka was well known for his irrepressible sense of humor... Brod recalled him laughing so much when he read aloud the first chapter of The Trial 'that there were moments when he couldn't read any further.'" Louis Begley, New Republic Online (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Franz Kafka: The Office Writings brings together, for the first time in English, Kafka's most interesting professional writings, composed during his years as a high-ranking lawyer with the largest Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute in the Czech Lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is commonly recognized as the greatest German prose writer of the twentieth century. It is less well known that he had an established legal career. Kafka's briefs reveal him to be a canny bureaucrat, sharp litigator, and innovative thinker on the social, political, and legal issues of his time. His official preoccupations inspired many of the themes and strategies of the novels and stories he wrote at night.

These documents include articles on workmen's compensation and workplace safety; appeals for the founding of a psychiatric hospital for shell-shocked veterans; and letters arguing relentlessly for a salary adequate to his merit. In adjudicating disputes, promoting legislative programs, and investigating workplace sites, Kafka's writings teem with details about the bureaucracy and technology of his day, such as spa elevators in Marienbad, the challenge of the automobile, and the perils of excavating in quarries while drunk. Beautifully translated, with valuable commentary by two of the world's leading Kafka scholars and one of America's most eminent civil rights lawyers, the documents cast rich light on the man and the writer and offer new insights to lovers of Kafka's novels and stories.

Review:

"This volume is an important addition to our understanding and appreciation of Kafka and his work." Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus, Princeton University

Review:

"This carefully edited book is one of the best things to have happened to Kafka scholarship in decades. It debunks the naïve but widely accepted myth of Kafka the poet, whose work in real life had nothing to do with his literary oeuvre. Just as importantly, the book is a valuable research tool for anyone who studies the impact of modern technology on the social, legal, and political spheres in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century." Wolf Kittler, University of California, Santa Barbara

Review:

"The book adds significantly to a new image of Kafka, one that goes beyond the isolated prophet of existential despair. It reestablishes him as an important commentator on a wide range of topics, such as social institutions, political changes, and technological innovations in high industrial capitalism. It is a major contribution to cultural studies approaches to Kafka, working out the intriguing ways in which a leading modernist writer represents the spirit of his time for our own." Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville

Review:

"Kafka's office writings, appearing here together in English for the first time, constitute a fascinating discovery. Corngold and Wagner treat readers to a surprising, new Kafka: a high-ranking, confident bureaucrat, whose legal and literary labors were closely intertwined." John Zilcosky, University of Toronto

Review:

"This lucid and convincing book is a major contribution to the scholarship on Kafka, and on the relationship between literary creativity and professional life." Russell Berman, Stanford University

Synopsis:

"This volume is an important addition to our understanding and appreciation of Kafka and his work."--Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus, Princeton University

"This carefully edited book is one of the best things to have happened to Kafka scholarship in decades. It debunks the naïve but widely accepted myth of Kafka the poet, whose work in real life had nothing to do with his literary oeuvre. Just as importantly, the book is a valuable research tool for anyone who studies the impact of modern technology on the social, legal, and political spheres in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century."--Wolf Kittler, University of California, Santa Barbara

"The book adds significantly to a new image of Kafka, one that goes beyond the isolated prophet of existential despair. It reestablishes him as an important commentator on a wide range of topics, such as social institutions, political changes, and technological innovations in high industrial capitalism. It is a major contribution to cultural studies approaches to Kafka, working out the intriguing ways in which a leading modernist writer represents the spirit of his time for our own."--Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville

"Kafka's office writings, appearing here together in English for the first time, constitute a fascinating discovery. Corngold and Wagner treat readers to a surprising, new Kafka: a high-ranking, confident bureaucrat, whose legal and literary labors were closely intertwined."--John Zilcosky, University of Toronto

"This lucid and convincing book is a major contribution to the scholarship on Kafka, and on the relationship between literary creativity and professional life."--Russell Berman, Stanford University

Synopsis:

Franz Kafka: The Office Writings brings together, for the first time in English, Kafka's most interesting professional writings, composed during his years as a high-ranking lawyer with the largest Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute in the Czech Lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is commonly recognized as the greatest German prose writer of the twentieth century. It is less well known that he had an established legal career. Kafka's briefs reveal him to be a canny bureaucrat, sharp litigator, and innovative thinker on the social, political, and legal issues of his time. His official preoccupations inspired many of the themes and strategies of the novels and stories he wrote at night.

These documents include articles on workmen's compensation and workplace safety; appeals for the founding of a psychiatric hospital for shell-shocked veterans; and letters arguing relentlessly for a salary adequate to his merit. In adjudicating disputes, promoting legislative programs, and investigating workplace sites, Kafka's writings teem with details about the bureaucracy and technology of his day, such as spa elevators in Marienbad, the challenge of the automobile, and the perils of excavating in quarries while drunk. Beautifully translated, with valuable commentary by two of the world's leading Kafka scholars and one of America's most eminent civil rights lawyers, the documents cast rich light on the man and the writer and offer new insights to lovers of Kafka's novels and stories.

About the Author

Stanley Corngold is professor of German and comparative literature at Princeton University. Jack Greenberg is the Alphonse Fletcher Professor of Law at Columbia University. Benno Wagner is a professor in the Department of Literature, Media, and Culture at the University of Siegen in Germany.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
Abbreviations for Kafka Citations xix
Kafka and the Ministry of Writing by Stanley Corngold 1
Kafka's Offi ce Writings: Historical Background and Institutional Setting by Benno Wagner 19

DOCUMENTS
Chapter 1: Speech on the Occasion of the Inauguration of the Institute's New Director (1909) 51
Commentary
Chapter 2: The Scope of Compulsory Insurance for the Building Trades (1908) 54
Commentary
Chapter 3: Fixed- Rate Insurance Premiums for Small Farms Using Machinery (1909) 74
Commentary
Chapter 4: Inclusion of Private Automobile "Firms" in the Compulsory Insurance Program (1909) 80
Commentary
Chapter 5: Appeal against Risk Classifi cation of Christian Geipel & Sohn, Mechanical Weaving Mill in Asch (1910) 90
Commentary
Chapter 6: Mea sures for Preventing Accidents from Wood- Planing Machines (1910) 109
Commentary
Chapter 7: On the Examination of Firms by Trade Inspectors (1911) 120
Commentary
Chapter 8: Workmen's Insurance and Employers: Two Articles in the Tetschen- Bodenbacher Zeitung (1911) 145
Commentary
Chapter 9: Petition of the Toy Producers' Association in Katharinaberg, Erzgebirge (1912) 170
Commentary
Chapter 10: Risk Classifi cation Appeal by Norbert Hochsieder, Boarding House Own er in Marienbad (1912) 194
Commentary
Chapter 11: Letters to the Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute in Prague (1912-15) 213
Commentary
Chapter 12: Criminal Charge against Josef Renelt for the Illegal Withholding of Insurance Fees (1913) 225
Commentary
Chapter 13: Second International Congress on Accident Prevention and First Aid in Vienna (1913) 249
Commentary
Chapter 14: Accident Prevention in Quarries (1914) 273
Commentary
Chapter 15: Jubilee Report: Twenty- Five Years of the Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute (1914) 301
Commentary
Chapter 16: Risk Classifi cation and Accident Prevention in War time (1915) 322
Commentary
Chapter 17: A Public Psychiatric Hospital for German- Bohemia (1916) 336
Commentary
Chapter 18: "Help Disabled Veterans! An Urgent Appeal to the Public" (1916/1917) 346
Commentary

Wraparound:From Kafka to Kafkaesque 355by Jack Greenberg Chronology 373
Notes 379
About the Editors 393
Index 395

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691126807
Author:
Kafka, Franz
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Editor:
Greenberg, Jack
Editor:
Corngold, Stanley
Author:
Wagner, Benno
Author:
Greenberg, Jack
Author:
Hein, Ruth
Author:
Patton, Eric
Author:
Corngold, Stanley
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Kafka, Franz
Subject:
Continental european
Subject:
Insurance
Subject:
Comparative Literature
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Translations into english
Subject:
Kafka, Franz - Translations into English
Subject:
Kafka, Franz - Career in insurance
Subject:
European - German
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Publication Date:
November 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
28 halftones. 9 tables.
Pages:
424
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » Insurance
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference
History and Social Science » Law » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Franz Kafka: The Office Writings New Hardcover
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$71.25 Backorder
Product details 424 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691126807 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "Kafka was well known for his irrepressible sense of humor... Brod recalled him laughing so much when he read aloud the first chapter of The Trial 'that there were moments when he couldn't read any further.'" (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "This volume is an important addition to our understanding and appreciation of Kafka and his work."
"Review" by , "This carefully edited book is one of the best things to have happened to Kafka scholarship in decades. It debunks the naïve but widely accepted myth of Kafka the poet, whose work in real life had nothing to do with his literary oeuvre. Just as importantly, the book is a valuable research tool for anyone who studies the impact of modern technology on the social, legal, and political spheres in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century."
"Review" by , "The book adds significantly to a new image of Kafka, one that goes beyond the isolated prophet of existential despair. It reestablishes him as an important commentator on a wide range of topics, such as social institutions, political changes, and technological innovations in high industrial capitalism. It is a major contribution to cultural studies approaches to Kafka, working out the intriguing ways in which a leading modernist writer represents the spirit of his time for our own."
"Review" by , "Kafka's office writings, appearing here together in English for the first time, constitute a fascinating discovery. Corngold and Wagner treat readers to a surprising, new Kafka: a high-ranking, confident bureaucrat, whose legal and literary labors were closely intertwined."
"Review" by , "This lucid and convincing book is a major contribution to the scholarship on Kafka, and on the relationship between literary creativity and professional life."
"Synopsis" by ,

"This volume is an important addition to our understanding and appreciation of Kafka and his work."--Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus, Princeton University

"This carefully edited book is one of the best things to have happened to Kafka scholarship in decades. It debunks the naïve but widely accepted myth of Kafka the poet, whose work in real life had nothing to do with his literary oeuvre. Just as importantly, the book is a valuable research tool for anyone who studies the impact of modern technology on the social, legal, and political spheres in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century."--Wolf Kittler, University of California, Santa Barbara

"The book adds significantly to a new image of Kafka, one that goes beyond the isolated prophet of existential despair. It reestablishes him as an important commentator on a wide range of topics, such as social institutions, political changes, and technological innovations in high industrial capitalism. It is a major contribution to cultural studies approaches to Kafka, working out the intriguing ways in which a leading modernist writer represents the spirit of his time for our own."--Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville

"Kafka's office writings, appearing here together in English for the first time, constitute a fascinating discovery. Corngold and Wagner treat readers to a surprising, new Kafka: a high-ranking, confident bureaucrat, whose legal and literary labors were closely intertwined."--John Zilcosky, University of Toronto

"This lucid and convincing book is a major contribution to the scholarship on Kafka, and on the relationship between literary creativity and professional life."--Russell Berman, Stanford University

"Synopsis" by ,

Franz Kafka: The Office Writings brings together, for the first time in English, Kafka's most interesting professional writings, composed during his years as a high-ranking lawyer with the largest Workmen's Accident Insurance Institute in the Czech Lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is commonly recognized as the greatest German prose writer of the twentieth century. It is less well known that he had an established legal career. Kafka's briefs reveal him to be a canny bureaucrat, sharp litigator, and innovative thinker on the social, political, and legal issues of his time. His official preoccupations inspired many of the themes and strategies of the novels and stories he wrote at night.

These documents include articles on workmen's compensation and workplace safety; appeals for the founding of a psychiatric hospital for shell-shocked veterans; and letters arguing relentlessly for a salary adequate to his merit. In adjudicating disputes, promoting legislative programs, and investigating workplace sites, Kafka's writings teem with details about the bureaucracy and technology of his day, such as spa elevators in Marienbad, the challenge of the automobile, and the perils of excavating in quarries while drunk. Beautifully translated, with valuable commentary by two of the world's leading Kafka scholars and one of America's most eminent civil rights lawyers, the documents cast rich light on the man and the writer and offer new insights to lovers of Kafka's novels and stories.

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