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The Blue Octavo Notebooks

Overview

From late 1917 until June 1919, Franz Kafka ceased to keep a diary, for which he had used quarto-size notebooks, instead writing in a series of smaller, octavo-size notebooks. When Kafka's literary executor, Max Brod, published the diaries in 1948, he omitted these notebooks—which include short stories, fragments of stories and other literary writings—because, he wrote, "notations of a diary nature, dates, are found in them only as a rare exception." The Blue Octavo Notebooks have thus remained little known and ...

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Overview

From late 1917 until June 1919, Franz Kafka ceased to keep a diary, for which he had used quarto-size notebooks, instead writing in a series of smaller, octavo-size notebooks. When Kafka's literary executor, Max Brod, published the diaries in 1948, he omitted these notebooks—which include short stories, fragments of stories and other literary writings—because, he wrote, "notations of a diary nature, dates, are found in them only as a rare exception." The Blue Octavo Notebooks have thus remained little known and yet are among the most characteristic and brilliantly gnomic of Kafka's work. In addition to otherwise unpublished material, the notebooks contain some of Kafka's most famous aphorisms within their original context. This edition of the English translation has been corrected with reference to the German text for certain omissions and discrepancies of sequence. Followers of Kafka will require this book and will find it most rewarding." —Library Journal.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781878972040
  • Publisher: Exact Change
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 716,156
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was one of the most significant and influential fiction writers of the 20th century. Dark, absurdist, and existential, his stories and novels concern the struggles of troubled individuals to survive in an impersonal, bureaucratic world.

Biography

Franz Kafka was born in 1883 to a well-to-do middle-class Jewish family. His father, the self-made proprietor of a wholesale haberdashery business, was a domineering man whose approbation Franz continually struggled to win. The younger Kafka's feelings of inadequacy and guilt form the background of much of his work and are made explicit in his "Letter to His Father" (excerpted in this volume), which was written in 1919 but never sent.

Kafka was educated in the German language schools of Prague and at the city's German University, where in 1908 he took a law degree. Literature, however, remained his sole passion. At this time he became part of a literary circle that included Franz Werfel, Martin Buber, and Kafka's close friend Max Brod. Encouraged by Brod, Kafka published the prose collection Observations in 1913. Two years later his story "The Stoker" won the Fontaine prize. In 1916 he began work on The Trial and between this time and 1923 produced three incomplete novels as well as numerous sketches and stories. In his lifetime some of his short works did appear: The Judgment (1916), The Metamorphosis (1916), The Penal Colony (1919), and The Country Doctor (1919).

Before his death of tuberculosis in 1924, Kafka had charged Max Brod with the execution of his estate, ordering Brod to burn the manuscripts. With the somewhat circular justification that Kafka must have known his friend could not obey such an order, Brod decided to publish Kafka's writings. To this act of "betrayal" the world owes the preservation of some of the most unforgettable and influential literary works of our century.

Biography courtesy of BN.com

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    1. Date of Birth:
      July 3, 1883
    2. Place of Birth:
      Prague, Austria-Hungary
    1. Date of Death:
      June 3, 1924
    2. Place of Death:
      Vienna, Austria
    1. Education:
      German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

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