Franz Kafka met Felice Bauer on August 13, 1912, at the home of his friend Max Brod. The twenty-five-year-old secretary from Berlin energetic, down-to-earth, life-affirming awakened in him a desire to marry. After weeks of agonizing, Kafka wrote his first letter to Felice on September 20 and would soon be writing passionate, self-deprecating, and anxious letters to her almost daily, sometimes even two or three times a day. Because he was living in Prague and she in Berlin, their letters became their sole source of knowledge of each other. But soon after their engagement was announced in 1914, Kafka began having doubts about the marriage, fearing that it would imperil his dedication to writing and interfere with his need for solitude. Through their breakup, a second engagement in 1917, and their final parting in the fall of that year, when Kafka began to feel the effects of the tuberculosis that would eventually claim his life, their correspondence continued. The more than five hundred letters that Kafka wrote to Felice over the course of those five years were acquired by Schocken Books from Felice Bauer in 1955. They reveal the full measure of Kafka's inner turmoil as he tried, in vain, to balance his desire for human connection with what he felt were the solitary demands of his craft.
Design: Peter Mendelsund Size: 155x230mm Pages: 624 Publication: 2016 Binding: Softbound book