The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923

The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923


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These diaries cover the years 1910 to 1923, the year before Kafka’s death at the age of forty. They provide a penetrating look into life in Prague and into Kafka’s accounts of his dreams, his feelings for the father he worshipped and the woman he could not bring himself to marry, his sense of guilt, and his feelings of being an outcast. They offer an account of a life of almost unbearable intensity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805209068
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/28/1988
Series: Schocken Classics Series
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 140,294
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

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, 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 At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work.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.

Date of Birth:

July 3, 1883

Date of Death:

June 3, 1924

Place of Birth:

Prague, Austria-Hungary

Place of Death:

Vienna, Austria


German elementary and secondary schools. Graduated from German Charles-Ferdinand University of Prague.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In Kafka we have before us the modern mind splendidly trained for the great game of pretending that the world it comprehends in sterilized sobriety is the only and ultimate reality there is—yet a mind living in sin with the soul of Abraham. Thus he knows two things at once, and both with equal assurance: that there is no God, and that there must be a God. It is the perspective of the curse: the intellect dreaming of its dream of absolute freedom, and the soul knowing of its terrible bondage.”
—Erich Heller
“It is likely that these journals will be regarded as one of [Kafka’s] major literary works; his life and personality were perfectly suited to the diary form, and in these pages he reveals what he customarily hid from the world.”
—The New Yorker

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The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It may be argued that the best of Kafka is not in his novels, but in his smaller more intimate writings, parables,letters, diaries.The diaries of Kafka are line by line one of the great works of literary genius.The unique insight, the special power of observation which is Kafka's alone inform every line of this work. He is the great master of anxiety, of understanding the inner life in all its complexities and ambiguities,hesitations and fears. And yet what a terrible beauty there is in his meditations and questionings of himself,and his relation to his parents, sisters, friends, and fiancees. There is too in this work one of the most illuminating reflections by a writer on the meaning of writing .And this when for Kafka writing is ' prayer'and his one possible path to salvation . There is only one Kafka only one who went deeper than any other writer in exploring the infinite pains of delay and indecision . To read these diaries is not an easy experience, it is a test of the reader 's ability to endure through the difficult inner world of nightmare and fear.And yet it is too an act of consolation .For again Kafka sees and writes and makes beautiful everyday life as no one else can.This work is in a sense the story of innumerable failures in everyday life which are redeemed by the enduring quality of the literary work. Kafka won in literature and did not win in life. Wouldn't it have been even more remarkable had he realized the dream of his last years, married Dora Dyamant and made his way to the Hebrew speaking world where he envisioned himself finding what proved to be for him an impossible new strength and freedom. This work cannot be more highly recommended. It expands our sense of what we are as humans in beauty and fear.
Linus_Linus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Anais Nin once wrote that a personal world lived deep enough transcends the truth in all universes. Those words have never been more applicable to any writer other than Franz Kafka. And in this book you can see why.

I remember reading it throughout a whole couple of nights, unable to force myself to stop, absolutely fascinated by a world constructed so delicately, yet unabatedly-sentence by sublime sentence into a marvellous prose edifice.
I can still recall one entire setting where he just describes a billowing shawl of a woman waiting in winter for a train. This is not art but is simply beyond art.

We can never be grateful enough to Max Brod for preserving the manuscript against Kafka¿s wishes, which I regard as one of the two most significant events in twentieth century literature. The other of course being Sylvia Beach deciding to publish The Ulysses.
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booknutchicago More than 1 year ago
I believe this is the first full collection of Kafka's diaries. I remembered reading some of this in undergrad and found it compelling and intimate. The re-introduction of this material is just wonderful, like stumbling upon an old (smart) friend. The cover art is beautiful, and this is one I will re-read a few times. Really lovely book!
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