Letters to Felice

Letters to Felice

by Franz Kafka, Erich Heller, Juergen Born, James Stern, Elisabeth Duckworth
     
 

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Now back in print, Franz Kafka's letters to his fiancé Felice Bauer, written over the course of their impassioned but doomed relationship, are "some of the most heartrending 'love letters' ever written" (Morris Dickstein, The New York Times Book Review).

Franz Kafka met Felice Bauer on August 13, 1912, at the home of his friend Max Brod.

Overview

Now back in print, Franz Kafka's letters to his fiancé Felice Bauer, written over the course of their impassioned but doomed relationship, are "some of the most heartrending 'love letters' ever written" (Morris Dickstein, The New York Times Book Review).

Franz Kafka met Felice Bauer on August 13, 1912, at the home of his friend Max Brod. The twenty-five-year-old secretary from Berlin—energetic, down-to-earth, life-affirming—awakened in him a desire to marry. After weeks of agonizing, Kafka wrote his first letter to Felice on September 20 and would soon be writing passionate, self-deprecating, and anxious letters to her almost daily, sometimes even two or three times a day. Because he was living in Prague and she in Berlin, their letters became their sole source of knowledge of each other. But soon after their engagement was announced in 1914, Kafka began having doubts about the marriage, fearing that it would imperil his dedication to writing and interfere with his need for solitude. Through their breakup, a second engagement in 1917, and their final parting in the fall of that year, when Kafka began to feel the effects of the tuberculosis that would eventually claim his life, their correspondence continued. The more than five hundred letters that Kafka wrote to Felice over the course of those five years were acquired by Schocken Books from Felice Bauer in 1955. They reveal the full measure of Kafka's inner turmoil as he tried, in vain, to balance his desire for human connection with what he felt were the solitary demands of his craft.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805235005
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/01/1987
Pages:
624

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Meet the Author

FRANZ KAFKA was born in Prague in 1883 and died of tuberculosis in a sanatorium near Vienna in 1924. After earning a law degree in 1906, he worked for most of his adult life at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute in Prague. Only a small portion of Kafka's writings were published during his lifetime. He left instructions for his friend and literary executor Max Brod to destroy all of his unpublished work after his death, instructions Brod famously ignored.

Brief Biography

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

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