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  • Published: 15 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780805212662
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $29.99

Letter to the Father/Brief an den Vater

Bilingual Edition



Franz Kafka wrote this letter to his father, Hermann Kafka, in November 1919. Max Brod, Kafka’s literary executor, relates that Kafka actually gave the letter to his mother to hand to his father, hoping it might renew a relationship that had lost itself in tension and frustration on both sides. But Kafka’s probing of the deep flaw in their relationship spared neither his father nor himself. He could not help seeing the failure of communication between father and son as another moment in the larger existential predicament depicted in so much of his work. Probably realizing the futility of her son’s gesture, Julie Kafka did not deliver the letter but instead returned it to its author.

  • Published: 15 November 2015
  • ISBN: 9780805212662
  • Imprint: Knopf US
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 144
  • RRP: $29.99

About the author

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was born into a Jewish family in Prague. In 1906 he received a doctorate in jurisprudence, and for many years he worked a tedious job as a civil service lawyer investigating claims at the State Worker's Accident Insurance Institute. He never married, and published only a few slim volumes of stories during his lifetime. Meditation, a collection of sketches, appeared in 1912; The Stoker: A Fragment in 1913; Metamorphosis in 1915; The Judgement in 1916; In the Penal Colony in 1919; and A Country Doctor in 1920. The great novels were not published until after his death from tuberculosis: America, The Trial and The Castle.

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