Loves of Franz Kafka

Nahum Norbert Glatzer, Author Schocken Books Inc $12.95 (85p) ISBN 978-0-8052-4001-6
Kafka's letters to his fiancee, Felice Bauer, weren't very endearing, with lines like ""You lack true insight into my wretched personality'' and ``Don't forget to throw me out.'' The tormented, ailing writer was engaged twice to this vigorous woman, and twice they broke off. His passionate affair with Milena Jesenska, a married Czech writer, was equally epistolary and disastrous. Although Kafka regarded marriage and children as ``the most highly desirable things'' in life, he remained a bachelor. Glatzer, editor of Kafka's complete works, in this short book covers each of the 10 or so women in the novelist's life. He draws no conclusions and does not analyze Kafka's avoidance and idealization of women in any depth. Nonetheless, his sensitive account of failed relationships is moving. As a young man, Kafka fell in love with an actress in the Yiddish theater; late in life he had a fatherly relationship with an 18-year-old. In between there was despair and loneliness. Laced with generous quotes from the diaries and letters, this small classic complements Kafka's Letters to Milena. January
Reviewed on: 12/02/1985
Release date: 12/01/1985
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