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The Journalism of Milena Jesenska: A Critical Voice in Interwar Central Europe [Hardcover]

Kathleen Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

February 27, 2003 1571815600 978-1571815606
"Jesenská's essays offer firsthand observations on a society that was slowly imploding between the years 1920 and 1939 [and] will certainly encourage lively classroom debates (especially in women's studies, political science and history courses) concerning politics, the condition of women, and social problems of yesterday and today." · Slavic and East European Journal

Milena Jesenská, born in Prague in 1896, is most famous as one of Franz Kafka's great loves. Although their relationship lasted only a short time, it won the attention of the literary world with the 1952 publication of Kafka's letters to Milena. Her own letters did not survive. Later biographies showed her as a fascinating personality in her own right. In the Czech Republic, she is remembered as one of the most prominent journalists of the interwar period and as a brave one: in 1939 she was arrested for her work in the resistance after the German occupation of Bohemia and Moravia, and died in Ravensbrück concentration camp in 1944.

It is estimated that Jesenská wrote well over 1,000 articles but only a handful have been translated into English. In this book her own writings provide a new perspective on her personality, as well as the changes in Central Europe between the two world wars as these were perceived by a woman of letters. The articles in this volume cover a wide range of topics, including her perceptions of Kafka, her understanding of social and cultural changes during this period, the threat of Nazism, and the plight of the Jews in the 1930s.

Kathleen Hayes received her Ph.D from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of London, and has taught Czech literature and history at Charles University and New York University in Prague.


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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Czech

About the Author

Kathleen Hayes received her PhD from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of East London, and taught Czech literature and history at Charles University and New York University in Prague. She has also edited and translated A World Apart and Other Stories: Czech Women Writers at the Fin de Siecle (Karolinum Press, 2001).

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books (February 27, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571815600
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571815606
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,930,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars women's journalism from the 1920s January 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Milena Jesenska, the Czech journalist who died in the concentration camp of Ravensbruck, has always interested me -- NOT because Kafka carried on a correspondence with her but because she is one of the few early twentieth century Central European female journalists whose work is available to us. Her articles were a good source for me in my researching a social history of the women in my family but I had to translate them myself. This book translates a good selection of Jesenska's work and the introduction is an excellent way to begin to get to know who she was. For those of you who haven't read it, however, the following book by Buber-Neumann is a must! Milena: The Tragic Story of Kafka's Great Love
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