Kafka: The Decisive Years

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 581 pages
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This is the first of a three-volume, definitive biography of Franz Kafka. Eighty years after his death in 1924, Kafka remains one of the most intriguing figures in the history of world literature. Now, after more than a decade of research, working with over four thousand pages of journal entries, letters, and literary fragments, Reiner Stach re-creates the atmosphere in which Kafka lived and worked from 1910 to 1915. These are the years of Kafka's fascination with early forms of Zionism despite his longing to be assimilated into the minority German culture in Prague; of his off-again, on-again engagement to Felice Bauer; of the outbreak of World War I; and above all of the composition of his seminal works-The Metamorphosis, Amerika, The Judgment, and The Trial.

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

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Kafka: the decisive years

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Surprisingly, there has never been a definitive biography of Franz Kafka, the Prague-born German-language novelist and enigmatic figure of early 20th-century literature. Stach, a German writer and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction
1
The Black Star
16
At Home with the Kafkas
21
Bachelors Young and Old
42
Actors Zionists Wild People
54
Leipzig and Weimar
71
Last Stop Jungborn
86
A Young Lady from Berlin
94
The Proposal
297
Literature Nothing but Literature
324
Three Congresses in Vienna
350
Trieste Venice Verona Riva
368
The Messenger Arrives
379
An AilTime Low
390
Kafka and Musil
401
Matrimonial Plans and Asceticism
413

The Judgment and The Stoker
108
A Near Defenestration
119
The Girl the Lady and the Woman
134
Love and a Longing for Letters
145
Exultant Weeks Little Intrigues
159
The Bauer Family
169
The Man Who Disappeared
175
The Metamorphosis
192
The Fear of Going Mad
206
The Massacre Next Door
226
Perfection and Disintegration
242
Invention and Exaggeration
253
Sexual Trepidation and Surrender
266
High Tech and the Ghosts
281
Tribunal in Berlin
433
The Great War
444
The Trial and In the Penal Colony
464
The Return of the East
484
The Grand Disruption
493
NoMansLand
508
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
517
TRANSLATORS NOTE
519
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
521
NOTES
523
BIBLIOGRAPHY
551
PHOTO CREDITS
563
INDEX
565
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

REINER STACH is a widely respected writer, editor, and scholar. After working extensively on the definitive edition of Kafka's collected works, he devoted more than a decade to researching and writing this biography. He lives in Hamburg.

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