Nearly 100 years after Franz Kafka’s death, his works continue to intrigue and haunt us. Even for those who are only fleetingly acquainted with his unfinished novels, or his stories, diaries, and letters, `Kafkaesque‘ has become a byword for the menacing, unfathomable absurdity of modern existence and bureaucracy. Yet for all the universal significance of his fiction, Kafka’s writing remains inextricably bound up with his life and work in Prague, where he spent every one of his 40 years.
Klaus Wagenbach’s account of Kafka’s life in the city is a meticulously researched insight into the author’s family background, his education and employment, his attitude toward the town of his birth, his literary influences, and his relationships with women. The result is a fascinating portrait of the 20th century’s most enigmatic writer and the city that provided him with so much inspiration; W.G. Sebald recognised that `literary and life experience overlap‘ in Kafka’s works, and the same is true of this book.
`A useful addition to any thinking person’s library… Wagenbach’s volume on Kafka includes reproductions of Kafka’s letters, original book covers and a well-drawn map of Prague showing the places mentioned in the text‘- New Statesman; `Wonderful… Wagenbach is the doyen of Kafka scholars, and this is easily the best guide to his life and work: succinct, handsomely produced, and endlessly informative‘ – –New York Sun
About the Author
Klaus Wagenbach is a publisher and a leading authority on Kafka. He was the first German-speaking researcher to access the author’s papers and other primary sources in Czechoslovakia and Israel. His books on Kafka include Franz Kafka: The Early Years.