LETTERS TO MILENA

FRANZ KAFKA
192pp 1999 LIST PRICE: £8.99 (P) B809

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Description
Kafka first made the acquaintance of Milena Jesenská in 1920 when she was translating his early short prose into Czech, and their relationship quickly developed into a deep attachment. Such was his feeling for her that Kafka showed her his diaries and, in doing so, laid bare his heart and his conscience. Milena, for her part, was cool and intelligent in her decisions but reckless when her emotions were involved. If she did suffer through him, it was part of her great appetite for life. However, while at times Milena's 'genius for living' gave Kafka new life, it ultimately exhausted him, and their relationship was to last little over two years. These letters are a moving record of that relationship.

In his letters we have a series of self-portraits desperate and courageous, always eager and warm in feeling; the self is lit by fantasy and, of course, by drollery. V S PRITCHETT