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Franz Kafka:
The Office Writings
Franz Kafka Edited by Stanley Corngold, Jack Greenberg & Benno Wagner
Translations by Eric Patton with Ruth Hein

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"This event--finally, the translation and publication of the last known scrap of Kafka's work left untranslated, and unpublished--brings us to the subject of this series: how Kafka's office writings influenced his fiction, and what that influence means. Kafka's office writings, as presented here, cannot be read on their own . . . but, instead, must be read as companions, to demystify the three novels and stories (which are anything but boring). Taken together, though, both workaday fact and masterwork fiction create a network of connections that exposes not just the concerns of a single writer, but also that of a singular culture--the culture of the Office, which has imposed itself on what used to be our lives."--Joshua Cohen,

"This handsome volume fills a void in Kafka studies and rectifies the unbalanced image of Kafka as a tortured genius who labored in an insurance office by day and wrote fiction by night. . . . A fascinating read for scholars of Kafka and modern Central European literature."--M. McCulloh, Choice

"The editors--Stanley Corngold, Jack Greenberg and Benno Wagner--have done a masterful job in making the drafts of speeches, letters, internal reports and newspaper articles relevant."--Raymond Johnston, Czech Business Weekly

"These writings reveal Kafka the man at his best. For that reason, Franz Kafka: The Office Writings makes a significant contribution to understanding the enigmatic Franz Kafka."--Jefferson M. Gray, Federal Lawyer


"This volume is an important addition to our understanding and appreciation of Kafka and his work."--Harold T. Shapiro, president emeritus, Princeton University

"This carefully edited book is one of the best things to have happened to Kafka scholarship in decades. It debunks the naïve but widely accepted myth of Kafka the poet, whose work in real life had nothing to do with his literary oeuvre. Just as importantly, the book is a valuable research tool for anyone who studies the impact of modern technology on the social, legal, and political spheres in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century."--Wolf Kittler, University of California, Santa Barbara

"The book adds significantly to a new image of Kafka, one that goes beyond the isolated prophet of existential despair. It reestablishes him as an important commentator on a wide range of topics, such as social institutions, political changes, and technological innovations in high industrial capitalism. It is a major contribution to cultural studies approaches to Kafka, working out the intriguing ways in which a leading modernist writer represents the spirit of his time for our own."--Rolf J. Goebel, University of Alabama, Huntsville

"Kafka's office writings, appearing here together in English for the first time, constitute a fascinating discovery. Corngold and Wagner treat readers to a surprising, new Kafka: a high-ranking, confident bureaucrat, whose legal and literary labors were closely intertwined."--John Zilcosky, University of Toronto

"This lucid and convincing book is a major contribution to the scholarship on Kafka, and on the relationship between literary creativity and professional life."--Russell Berman, Stanford University

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File created: 4/21/2017

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