Letters to Milena

Letters to Milena

by Franz Kafka
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Letters to Milena by Franz Kafka

In no other work does Franz Kafka reveal himself as in Letters to Milena, which begins as a business correspondence but soon develops into a passionate but doomed epistolary love affair. Kafka's Czech translator, Milena Jesenská, was a gifter and charismatic twenty-three-year-old who was uniquely able to recognize Kafka's complex genius and his even more complex character. For thirty-six-year-old Kafka, she was "a living fire, such as I have never seen." It was to Milena that he revealed his most intimate self and, eventually, entrusted his diaries for safekeeping.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805204278
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/01/1987
Series: Kafka Library

About 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 He left instructions for his friend and literary executor Max Brod to destroy all of his unpublished work after his death, instructions Brod famously ignored.

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.

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Letters to Milena 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These letters are heartbreaking and deeply moving. They are written by a great genius who is speaking to a woman he longs for and yet knows he cannot have. They are in one sense a study in torment and anxiety, and another a literary document of great power and beauty. Milena was a great soul a translator of Kafka who understood that she was connected with an extraordinary genius. The impossibility of their love and yet the great sense of meaning in their meetings make these letters so powerful and great. Kafka could describe the most everyday reality and turn it into a work of wonder. And this too in relation to his own feelings toward Milena.