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Letters to Milena (Works) [Kindle Edition]

Franz Kafka
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $10.99
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In no other work does Franz Kafka reeal 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 Jesenska was a gifted and charismatic twenty-three-year-old who was uniquely able to recognize Kafka's complex genius and his even more complex character. For the thrity-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.

"The voice of Kafka in Letters to Milena is more personal, more pure, and more painful than in his fiction: a testimony to human existence and to our eternal wait for the impossible.  A marvelous new edition of a classic text."
—Jan Kott

Editorial Reviews


"In his letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling and, of course, by drollery. His candour is of the kind that flies alongside him in the air. He was a marvellous letter writer" -- V.S. Pritchett "Fascinating reading... [a] part of his oeuvre" Independent

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

Product Details

  • File Size: 1784 KB
  • Print Length: 298 pages
  • Publisher: Schocken; Rev Upd edition (June 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CVS660C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,793 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
These letters written by Franz Kafka to Milena comprise my most loved Kafka letters. Writing to Felice, his former fiancée, he was less mature - could he be said to have been less himself? In 'Letters to Milena' he asks at one point (I paraphrase) 'Is it you I really love or the existence that you give to me?' Couldn't any of us ask this question of the person we really love and of ourselves when we really love? I think Milena, whom his biographers considered a far more fitting companion for Kafka than Felice; Milena who in Berlin, years younger than the ageless Franz, living desperately and often pennilessly with her loved hurtful husband (who frequently withheld money from her, so that at one point she worked as a railway porter) - this woman who 'lived her life down to the depths' and who was a writer in her own right - really did give Kafka existence in the years they wrote and too infrequently met. She did not let the nervous, procrastinating and intensely self referential Kafka hide from her - which may be part of why he loved her - and when he is finally prevailed upon to visit her, deliciously drolly reassuring her that if he does get onto a train he will likely as not get off it at the right stop, she does not wait until they each arrive at the much discussed meeting point to actually meet him, but goes unflinchingly to his hotel, cutting off Kafka's apprehensions, making everything in their meeting easy, amicable and precious to him.
'If only it were possible to go to Berlin, to become independent, to live from one day to the next, even to go hungry, but to let all one's strength pour forth instead of husbanding it here, or rather - instead of one's turning aside into nothingness!' Kafka wrote in his diaries in 1914 whilst still engaged to Felice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book. September 18, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is my favorite book I've read this year. I like this better than reading Kafka's fiction writing. I see a childish, insecure, sensitive soul who is so sincere in love. It makes me feel as if Kafka is my friend.

Also, if you have a person you'd like to impress/pursue romantically, this would be an excellent book to learn from. Real talk.
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5.0 out of 5 stars evidence of a compelling love story January 8, 2014
By Milena
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just the best read when feeling that a love is impossible, unreachable and at the same time very real! Reading Kafka's loving and caring words for Milena is ver special
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His best letters November 9, 2004
These are Kafka's best letters . He pours forth his broken soul to the woman who can and does understand him. His language is painful and beautiful. Milena the Czech woman married to another Jewish man is too trapped by her life. Their love is impossible also because Kafka within himself is impossible. The letters are powerful and bring a sense of compassion and loss for these two remarkable people who each in his own way ( Kafka through his tuberculosis) Milena ( in a concentration camp) lose their lives when young.
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