Tag Archives: Franz Kafka

Kafkaesque

It begins in Prague’s Old Town of the well-known cobblestone, labyrinthine streets, where Franz Kafka was born and raised, but in this case refers more to the city of crystal ashtrays, miniature stone Golems, Kafka tee-shirts and guided tours. As the editors of “Kafkaesque: Stories Inspired by Franz Kafka” point out in their introduction, “we […]

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Kafka awards multiplying like cockroaches

Earlier this year it was announced that Irish writer John Banville was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize. Now it is being a bit coy and imprecise of the Kafka Society to only say that Banville is coming to Prague at the end of October to accept the award without, for example, naming the actual day. […]

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Literary map of Prague

In a bid to obtain the status of a “UNESCO Creative City of Literature,” Prague’s Municipal Library has put a literary map of the city online that locates both Czech and international writers in various parts of the city. At the moment the map is only in Czech (which I would think might hinder their […]

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A curious novel, Kafka’s Amerika

“A curious novel, Kafka’s Amerika: indeed, why should this young twenty-nine-year-old writer have laid his first novel in a continent where he had never set foot? This choice shows a clear intent: to not do realism; better yet: to not do a serious work. He did not even try to palliate his ignorance by research; […]

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Sigmund Freud was born 155 years ago today

“The greatest literary figures of Central Europe in the twentieth century (Kafka, Musil, Broch, Gombrowicz, but Freud as well) rebelled (they were very much alone in that rebellion) against the legacy of the preceding century, which in their part of Europe bowed under the particularly heavy weight of Romanticism. They felt that in its vulgar […]

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The Kafka Bubble

The 20th century is often justifiably referred to as a bloodbath. The 21st century is bloody too, but might more accurately be described as a bubble bath. It was ushered in following the bursting of the dot-com bubble, and since then has experienced a housing bubble, a commodities bubble and almost every kind of financial, […]

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Oxford’s Bodleian Library and the Marbach Literary Archive in German

Oxford’s Bodleian Library and the Marbach Literary Archive in Germany have prevented a collection of letters and postcards written by Kafka from being auctioned off and will soon be put on public display, switching between the two prestigious institutions like a child shuttling back and forth between divorced parents. I attended a meeting of Prague’s […]

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Kafka’s old office – now a hotel room

From 1908 to 1922 Franz Kafka worked at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. Considering his work was virtually unknown in his homeland after his death, then banned successively by German occupiers and the communist regime, Kafka’s traces in his former city were not very well guarded. Today though, […]

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The Uses of Kafka

Franz Kafka never had the fortune, whether good or bad, of being just a writer. During his lifetime he hardly published anything and had a firm principle against making his living with his pen. After his death it became even worse. He went from being a one-man Jewish oracle to a 20th Century prophet of […]

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Kafka and Schulz on display in Stockholm

Masters of the Borderland exhibit ties two 20th Century literary giants to Central Europe’s Jewish past and its role in their work. Writers are faced with an array of choices – of subject, style, even what name to publish under – but we tend not to think of their language as a matter of choice. […]

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