Letters to Ottla and the Family [NOOK Book]

Overview

Written by Kafka between 1909 and 1924, these letters offer a unique insight into the workings of the Kafka family, their relationship with the Prague Jewish community, and Kafka's own feelings about his parents and siblings. A gracious but shy woman, and a silent rebel against the bourgeois society in which she lived, Ottla Kafka was the sibling to whom Kafka felt closest. He had a special affection for her simplicity, her integrity, her ability to listen, and her pride in his work. Ottla was deported to ...
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Letters to Ottla and the Family

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Overview

Written by Kafka between 1909 and 1924, these letters offer a unique insight into the workings of the Kafka family, their relationship with the Prague Jewish community, and Kafka's own feelings about his parents and siblings. A gracious but shy woman, and a silent rebel against the bourgeois society in which she lived, Ottla Kafka was the sibling to whom Kafka felt closest. He had a special affection for her simplicity, her integrity, her ability to listen, and her pride in his work. Ottla was deported to Theresienstadt during World War II, and volunteered to accompany a transport of children to Auschwitz in 1943. She did not survive the war, but her husband and daughters did, and preserved her brother's letters to her.  They were published in the original German in 1974, and in English in 1982.

"Kafka's touching letters to his sister, when she was a child and as a young married woman, are beautifully simple, tender, and fresh. In them one sees the side of his nature that was not estranged. It is lucky they have been preserved."
—V. S. Pritchett, The New York Review of Books

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804150743
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/26/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 873,409
  • File size: 6 MB

Meet the Author

Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, of tuberculosis, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes.

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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