This 1973 text provides a critical introduction to the writings of Franz Kafka. Within it Ronald Gray surveys the novels and short stories, and glances also at the religious or confessional writings. He presents a persuasive and coherent account of Kafka's personal and artistic development and its meaning and value for us. Dr Gray argues that the early short stories are most finished and controlled; here Kafka recognised and managed to find a form exactly fitting his own condition, and the writing is less compulsive and obsessional than it became later. Dr Gray quotes extensively, translating specifically for the purpose. He writes for all whose who read Kafka, especially the many who read him in translation and would like a helpful and shrewd guide to understanding. Kafka's work hauntingly expresses one whole area of the modern mind - its anguish, dissociation and guilt - and this sane and sympathetic book puts him into a humane perspective.
Table of Contents
Preface; 1. Kafka the writer; 2. Towards understanding; 3. Early stories and 'The Judgement'; 4. America; 5. 'The Metamorphosis'; 6. 'In the Penal Colony'; 7. The Trial; 8. 'A Country Doctor' and other stories; 9. The Castle; 10. Later stories; 11. Religious ideas; Notes to the text; Chronological table; Select Bibliography; Index.