Conversations with Kafka: Notes and Reminiscences

Conversations with Kafka: Notes and Reminiscences

Conversations with Kafka: Notes and Reminiscences

Conversations with Kafka: Notes and Reminiscences

Excerpt

MAX BROD'S introduction and Gustav Janouch's opening sentences to this book are in themselves sufficient explanation of its genesis and of its place in Kafka's life. Indeed, in view of these two authors' personal friendship with Kafka, and Dr Brod's unrivalled knowledge of his life and his work, any further comment may seem unnecessary and even impertinent. Yet to some readers at least the local setting of these Conversations with Kafka may be unfamiliar, and some aspects of them surprising, and to such readers an additional word of introduction may not be unhelpful.

The Conversations, for all their directness and simplicity, are compiled with such literary skill that they seem to convey not only Kafka's words, gestures, physical appearance, tone of voice, but also the very air of time and place and circumstance in which Kafka and his young friend took their walks together. This atmosphere which they breathe is a very special one, perhaps now never to be recovered; only less vivid than the impression they give of Kafka's personality is the sense of the city of Prague itself, to which Kafka was at once so native and so alien. In one of the conversations Kafka says that the distance from the Karpfengasse, in the Jewish quarter, to his homeland is immeasurably far, but from the Jewish quarter to the Teinkirche is much, much farther; and his remark seems to crystallize everything which both bound him to Prague and alienated him from it. For it is to a particular part of Prague that these conversations belong, the Judenstadt or Jewish quarter, with its medieval synagogue and its ancient Jewish cemetery; and the Judenstadt is not only a physical but a spiritual locality. Kafka's walks may begin at the insurance office on the Poṅič, the business centre of modern Prague; across the river is the Hradschin, the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.