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Letters to Milena (The Schocken Kafka Library) Paperback – November 3, 2015
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"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. [This is] a marvelous new edition of a classic text." —Jan Kott
"An extraordinary document—touching, horrifying, brilliant, sickly, heartbreaking, and infinitely convoluted . . . It reveals him most clearly (which is relative, and Kafka remains mystifying enough), and it is—aside from the beauty of the letters themselves—the most significant key we have for a reading of the author's novels and short stories." —The New York Times
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
I've included some of my favorite parts. if you're a fan of franz kafka then I highly recommend this book.
Also, if you have a person you'd like to impress/pursue romantically, this would be an excellent book to learn from. Real talk.
'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. Milena, for a little while, allowed him to feel he was living, the tragedy was that concurrently Kafka's terrible illness was progressing, depriving him of time and physical energy. He was a man who needed so much time, and who had so painfully little, but, notwithstanding his not infrequent sensation of 'turning aside into nothingness', Kafka lived, he lived his whole life as few, very few, ever do, these letters are a testimony to his intense aliveness and to his genius as a writer. I envy Milena, even though she knew eventually she could not leave her husband for Kafka, she was still the woman who received the treasure of these letters. And yet - a reader has to, bewildered, witness and realize the inevitability and sadness of the eventual cessation of Kafka and Milena's communication, witness Kafka poignantly losing his plans for their future and the idea that Milena can live with him, witness both withdrawing and both mourning.
'M was here', Kafka wrote (again in his diaries, 8th May 1922, when he was more or less housebound with his illness) 'won't come again; probably wise and right in this, yet there is perhaps still a possibility whose locked door we both are guarding lest we open it, for it will not open of itself.'
I treasure this book. I've read and reread it so that the pages are all dog-eared, falling out and closely annotated all over. To anyone who finds themselves drawn to Kafka I'd say get your hands on a copy or two.