Selected Stories of Franz Kafka

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Good - Moderate wear around the edges of dust jacket. Book clipped. Tight binding Roughly 50 pp. or 15% of the book contain markings, e.g., marginal notes and underlining. A few pages are stained. No tears, all pages are crisp.
Hardcover, 328 pages
Random House Inc., 1952
First Modern Library Edition

No writer in history has illuminated the dark and fantastic side of the human soul with the clarity and perception of Kafka, and this group of stories has been selected to reflect his finest and most representative work.

In his brilliant introduction to this volume, Philip Rahv writes, "Kafka so compellingly arouses in us a sense of immediate relatedness, of strong even if uneasy identification... because of the profound quality of his feeling for the experience of human loss, estrangement, guilt and anxiety—an experience increasingly dominant in the modern age." Indeed, Kafka speaks to today's world with a rarely equaled immediacy and directness of expression.

These selected stories comprise fifteen of Kafka's best-known and most typical works, including "The Metamorphosis," "In the Penal Colony," "The Great Wall of China," "Investigations of a Dog," and "The New Advocate."

With an Introduction by Philip Rahv

About the Author

Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883 of a middle-class Jewish family. Kafka's relationship with his energetic, overbearing, respectable, practical and successful father, who ridiculed Franz's literary ambitions and spiritual wandering, evidently destroyed the young boy's self-confidence and implanted a sense of guilt that was to color Franz's work and last all of his life. Pushed by his father's desire to see him established in a respectable profession, Kafka took a degree in Law at the German University in Prague in 1906 and soon afterwards obtained a post in an accident-insurance office. Though Kafka's real interest was in writing, his overwhelming sense of guilt kept him from trying a literary career and he confined his writing to hours stolen from work. His sense of inferiority kept him from trying to publish during his lifetime, yet he would not give up writing and his health suffered constantly from the demands of both his job and his creative career. He contracted tuberculosis and spent the majority of his adult years in and out of sanitariums. In 1923, after meeting Dora Dymant, he moved with her to Berlin to pursue a literary career. Unfortunately, by then Kafka's health had been permanently ruined and he died of tuberculosis in a hospital near Vienna in June, 1924, at the age of forty-one. During his lifetime, Kafka published only three of his shorter works and he directed that his work be destroyed in its entirety after his death by his friend Max Brod. Fortunately, Brod decided to disregard Kafka's instructions and to give Kafka's work to the world.