An utterly original, fascinating interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka that is simultaneously an unprecedented exploration into the mystery of Kafka himself.
What are Kafka's stories about? Are they dreams? Allegories? Symbols? Things that happen every day? But where and when? Countless answers have been offered, but the question still arouses feelings of acute uncertainty. Many solutions have been proposed, but the essential mystery remains intact. In this remarkable book, Roberto Calasso sets out not to dispel the mystery but to let it be illuminated by its own light. To that end, with his unique vision, imagination, and intellectual acumen, Calasso attempts to enter the flow, the tortuous movement, the physiology of the stories to discover what they are meant to signify and to delve into the most basic question along the way: Who is K.?
The culmination of the author's lifelong fascination with Kafka, K. is a book of significant literary importance, the fourth part in a work in progress of which the previous volumes are THE RUIN OF KASCH, THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY, and KA.
“Roberto Calasso's creative energy is active throughout. He claims to present Kafka's work as 'illuminated by its own light' and succeeds in a unique way. Many of his readers will feel compelled to reread Kafka.' Muriel Spark, TLS”
“An elegant writer, Calasso is particularly attuned to the strong erotic undercurrents in Kafka's writing and is suitably wary of finding any overarching philosophy.”
“K, by Italian writer and publisher Roberto Calasso...maintains a deft balance between genres, mixing an elegant discussion of Kafka's work with a novelist's eye for detail”
Los Angeles Times
“For those who aren't acquainted with Kafka, Calasso's book is a practical and exciting introduction. For those who are, it is an irresistible invitation to reread him and once more measure his greatness - this time with the sharp-eyed complicity of a brilliant investigator - Carlo Fruttero, Panorama”