Author: Citati, Pietro|Rosenthal, Raymond
Year Published: 1990
Subcategory: Literary Criticism / European / General
Condition Rating: Slight wear, may have creased spine, folded pages, good-condition ownership stickers
Summary: Pietro Citati, author of highly acclaimed biographies of Goethe
, now brings the full power of his intellect and perception to a major new psychobiography of one of the most brilliantâ€”yet personally elusiveâ€”writers of the twentieth century: Franz Kafka
. This is a completely convincing exploration and recreation of Kafka's lifeâ€”not so much its daily events (although the emotional architecture of the great friendship with Max Brod
, Kafka's tormented relationship with his father, the extraordinary courtships of Felice Bauer
and Milena JesenskÃ¡
, are all wonderfully opened to fresh insight) as his inner life, and the continuous and astonishing process by which Kafka "lived" his stories, lived in the world of fantasy and literature, and made his writings metaphorical mirrors of his innermost life.
Citati leads us into the darknessâ€”literally: into those hours between ten at night and six in the morning when Kafka learned, in his cramped little passageway-room in his parents' apartment, to leave behind the neurasthenic anguishes that tormented him by day, and to submerge himself in a superhuman and terrible serenity, to gain access to a placeâ€”the storyâ€”where everything was placated and set onto "the right path." And here we watch the miracle take place that makes him unique among modern writersâ€”the exploration of an inner darkness that loses none of its disquieting power, the unconscious that assumes a shape and yet remains unconscious; reason never interposes its mediation and yet the whole unknown archipelago is slowly illuminated as though it were a creation of the day: we are immersed simultaneously in the unconscious and in a vortex of light. Citati takes us into the very creation of all the major worksâ€”\n Amerika\n
, \n The Trial\n
, \n The Castle\n
, "The Metamorphosis
." Many of the stories are also explored in detail, and these in turn are made part of Kafka's life. Beautifully written, passionately empathetic, luminously clearâ€”an exceptional book by one of Europe's finest literary critics.
In Store Location: Bookcase 5 - Biographies 2,