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Kafka (Introducing Series)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,672 ratings  ·  173 reviews
Part illustrated biography, part comics adaptation, R. Crumb's Kafka is a vibrant biography that examines this Czech writer and his works in a way that a bland textbook never could! R. Crumb's Kafka is a work of art in its own right, a very rare example of what happens when one very idiosyncratic artist absorbs another into his world view without obliterating the individua ...more
Paperback, 175 pages
Published January 1st 1996 by Actes Sud (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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David Schaafsma
This is kind of a straightforward, get-to-the-heart-of-him sort of literary/critical biography about the relationship between Kafka's life and writing, which is kind of a typical literary way to write a biography. And like most graphic biographies, it's way shorter than any other kind of biography, so is necessarily kind of trying to provide enough detail about his life to satisfy your biographical need (what was he really like?!) without being too pithy and reductive. Kafka himself wouldn't hav ...more
شاب فقري
ترجمة رديئة جدا ودون المستوي
ولكن فى وسط كل هذا أجد أكثر ما أكرهه عند الحديث عن كاتب وهوا تلخيص أعماله
أكره تلخيص رواية كاملة فى سطرين
أحب أن يكون الكتاب عن الكاتب وحياته الشخصية وكيف نشأ دون أن تتدخل كالأحمق فى كل سطر محاولا أن تحكي أحدي رواياته

أسعدني قراءة بعض السطور والآراء لكافكا وسط كل هذا الحشو
الكتاب بسيط ولا يأخذ منك وقت فى القراءة
الرسوم كانت مسلية لكنها كانت عامل تشتيت أثناء القراءة
إستمتعت برسائل كافكا إلي النساء وبتلك الشخصية المعقدة وأفكار الروايات والقصص القصيرة التي يخبرك من أين
...more
miaaa
Mar 04, 2010 miaaa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: amang, dyka, roos
Recommended to miaaa by: Ronny
This is one of few books that I found extremely difficult to be reviewed. I am dumbfounded, speechless even mesmerised as if I found a bucket of gold at the end of a rainbow.

A treasure indeed, something that worth enough as the dishes you eat the air you breath and the soil you step on. I embrace it as a lifeline rope being hurled by Crumb and Mairowitz in the middle of confusion how to understand the complicity of the disturbed artist.

I could not recalled him other than an artist. K maybe an
...more
Sarah
Aug 23, 2010 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: Jon Curtiss
I especially appreciate all the digs at literary critics who are quick to declare things "Kafkaesque" and at the general tendency of lit crits to narrowly classify works. This tendency is partly responsible for reducing Kafka to a commodity and a tourist destination rather than an author for people to read, interpret, and enjoy on their own. While Kafka is certainly not the only author to suffer this fate, his is probably one of the most extreme forms of authorial commercialization. Faulkner als ...more
Abdullah
كتاب رائع يستعرض فيه المؤلف حياة الكاتب النمساوي كافكا بشكل مختصر ويسرد للقارىء بماذا كان يفكر كافكا وكيف كانت حياته وماذا كان يكتب ويجول في خاطره. الجميل في الكتاب هو وجود الرسومات التوضيحية لكثير من الأشياء التي تطرق إليها المؤلف. فعندما يتحدث بإيجاز عن إحدى مؤلفات كافكا, فهناك رسوم مرافقة توضح لك القصة على هيئة "رسوم مصورة" بشكل جذاب وجميل. الكتاب رائع لمن يريد الإستزادة عن كافكا والغوص في أفكاره تمهيداً لقراءة كتبه ورواياته. وأعتبرها بداية جيدة بالنسبة لي لأني أمتلك كتابه الشهير "المسخ" بالل ...more
Leah
The mythos (and thousands of volumes of accompanying thought) surrounding Franz Kafka’s oeuvre can make him an intimidating and overwhelming author for the uninitiated. As a testament to the formative nature of his works (within the realm of modern literature), his surname has entered the contemporary lexicon – Kafkaesque - to denote byzantine bureaucracy. And yet -- despite the attention and consideration heaped upon The Trial, The Metamorphosis, etc. -- Kafka is ultimately an accessible writer ...more
Lynn
I read this because my book club is going to read The Trial. I found this interesting, though the pictures are somewhat creepy. It was very informative, but not very in-depth. A good overview of Kafka's life.
Christiane Alsop
Excellent in every respect. Never read a graphic biography before. This has me hooked and wanting more, more, more.
Phil Huff
One of my fellow teachers mentioned that R. Crumb had illustrated a graphic novel about the life and works of Franz Kafka. "This is like some unspeakably hideous Reese's Peanut Butter Cup ad" I thought to myself. Two creepy tastes that, do indeed, go great together. My students have been reading Kafka's "Metamorphasis", and so I picked this up to see if the section on that story could helpfully illuminate it for any of my strugglers. Yes, it could, and it did...but I was unprepared for how engro ...more
Jimmy
In his diaries, Kafka imagined his demise in many creative ways. For example, razor thin slices of him cut off with a butcher knife. Or being dragged with a noose around his neck.

I believe Max Brod may have had it right when he claimed Kafka's works were part of an elaborate search for an unreachable god. Especially with the inaccessibility of higher authority in The Trial and The Castle.

He was born and lived in Prague all but the last 8 months of his life. He called the city "a little mother"
...more
Lars Guthrie
Who would have thought the creator of Mr. Natural and Fritz the Cat would turn into such an excellent literary historian? Although I believe Crumb was doing his profiles of Blues artists from the beginning, no? Done with the collaboration of David Zane Mairowitz's readable and comprehensive text (the editors might have picked a better font to match up to Crumb's lettering and drawing), this work made me think about even more than connecting back to Kafka's oeuvre. Of course, that would be the pl ...more
liz
Mairowitz writes and R. Crumb illustrates this fantastic biography of Kafka. Synopses of his major works are interspersed chronologically with his biography, really driving home how Kafka's feelings of alienation and inadequacy shaped his fiction. The ending is weak and seems oddly agenda-driven (in a way that has nothing to do with Kafka); but other than that the analysis is excellent. I'm so glad I own this.

Kafka did not want the insect to be seen. Concerning the cover of the first edition [of
...more
Jonathon
I received this book for Christmas and started reading it immediately. It is pretty interesting weaving Jewish Czech history with a semi-biography of Kafka and his Jewish upbringing. I don't know how relevant Judaism is to Kafka considering he thought "What do I have in common with the Jews? I don't even have anything in common with myself." Ironically, the book points to the aforementioned quote by Kafka; accusing him of being a "self hating Jew". I don't know if Kafka was trying to distance hi ...more
Benjamin Zapata
A wonderful and brilliant introduction to the life and work of Franz Kafka by David Mairowitz and with awesome illustrations by the legendary Robert Crumb. In less the 200 pages it awoke my appetite to read all the wonderful writing of Kafka,and to get into a more profuond and complete book about the life of this genius of world literature. The man who wrote the most famous first sentence in modern literature: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning after disturbing dreams,he found himself transforme ...more
Malbadeen
I wish goodreads had the cover I have because it is BEAUTIFUL! Black and gray and tan with White and orange lettering and matte. So, so perfectly matte. mmmmmm

The book itself: well the illustrations were, of course, great. but I was disappointed with the content of the book which is a bummer because, as Sarah pointed out when I was on the sidewalk fondling this new purchase "[I] do love a graphic biography". It felt like it was over way too fast and the extended amounts of time spent on Kafka's
...more
Evan
So far this is pretty damned informative, and of course, Crumb captures the essence of the subject. Superb.

OK, nearly done with this. A good primer to Kafka's life, world and art. Not only covers the topic in a non-pretentious way, but takes some good ribbing at the snobs who succeed in making Kafka no fun. Crumb's imagery is hypnotic. Highly recommended.

I have a newer 2007 edition of this with a better cover: Kafka as drawn by Crumb sitting alone writing at a desk with KAFKA spelled in big whit
...more
Nick
I didn't know squat about Franz Kafka before. Kafka was just a name Hipsters batted around at parties in college (like one of the satirical drawings in the book). After reading Kafka, however, I now feel I can grasp some of this strange, complicated, brilliant, sad man's ideas and essence. Kafka presents Kafka in biographical form, in a very loosely-structured and sometimes unfocused way, with short illustrated plot overviews of Kafka's works throughout. Mairowitz and Crumb do an excellent job o ...more
Rachel Jackson
I read Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis years ago for school and was blindsided by the strange aura and sensation the story produced, from the bizarre transformation of Gregor Samsa into a bug to the macabre disdain with which his family treated him. That was my first introduction to Kafka, and I keep saying I should try reading him again. I found David Zane Mairowitz's Introducing Kafka on my dad's bookshelves today and decided to look through it, worrying at first that it would be too esoteric ...more
Greg
Jan 08, 2014 Greg rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
A good clear and simply explained outline of Kafka's life and strange stories. Illustrated throughout by Robert Crumb, who deserve 5 stars as well. Crumb's style is an inspired choice that suits the subject.
Offuscatio
Ernst Fischer declaró: "Tenemos que ponernos al día con ciertas cosas. Kafka es un escritor que nos concierne a todos", y esta novela gráfica me pareció un excelente punto de partida. Ahora me toca leer sus relatos.
Jason Bradshaw
This book is so close to being stunning for me, were it not for some editorial blunders and poor design choices (at least in the edition I have) that kept taking me out of the experience of actually reading the damn thing. The key culprit being inconsistently using (or not using) a font for lettering on some of these otherwise beautiful Crumb pages. A shame.

That said, the content of the book is fantastic, giving a biography of Kafka with some largely truncated adaptations of his best known stori
...more
Josh
"You got Crumb in my Kafka!"
"You got Kafka in my Crumb!"
Finally, two grim tastes that taste grim together.
Annabelle
This is an amazing biography of Franz Kafka, using a graphic novel style of writing. I have only read Metamorphosis and The Trial by Kafka awhile ago. I thought they were confusing and gory and didn't like them much. But now, knowing about Kafka's life and everything he went through, they make so much more sense. I will definitely have to re read them. This book is also great because it takes his most popular stories, and analyzes them, so that you have an understanding of how they connect to Ka ...more
Kate
Это скорее даже не графическая новелла, а иллюстрированная биографическая статья о Кафке. Много текста. Комиксом оно становится только в кратком изложении произведений.
Кафка всегда был мною нежно любим, и хотя я вкратце знала о его биографии, милое погружение в мир Кафки с картинками дало нечто новое в восприятии его прозы. Надо таки собраться с силами и прочитать "Замок" - единственное большое произведение, которое пока не удосужилась прочитать. При этом когда читала комикс, показалось, что я у
...more
Victoria
David Zane Mairowitz thinks Kafka's writing has insufficient Jewish content, so too much of the text here talks about the Jewish situation in Prague in Kafka's time and adduces a lot of highly questionable and possibly discriminatory ideas about Jewish psychology (really? all of them with the same psychology?) such as self-loathing. Although the cover extracts Kafka's comment, "What do I have in common with the Jews? I don't even have anything in common with myself," and it appears in the text t ...more
Hizrah Muchtar
Dulu, ketika pertama kali membaca 'Metamorphosis' karya Kafka, saya langsung terperangah karena keunikan dan keanehan (can I say this?) gaya berceritanya. Salah satu buku yang takkan pernah terlupa, mungkin sampai saya mati atau pikun. Demikian uniknya Kafka bercerita..

Kafka, merupakan salah satu penulis paling berpengaruh abad ke 20. Saking berpengaruhnya, muncul terminologi 'Kafkaesque' sebagai 'adjective' dalam bahasa Inggris. Terlahir sebagai seorang Yahudi berbahasa Jerman di Prague-Ceko da
...more
Tony
INTRODUCING KAFKA. (1994). David Zane Mairowitz and Robert Crumb. ****.
Believe it or not, this is a serious analysis of Franz Kafka – the man and his works. Crumb’s illustrations to Mairowitz’s text are fitting and, in the main, serious attempts to amplify the meanings of the text. The book starts off with a biographical section on Kafka, his family and his experiences growing up in the ghetto in Prague. It was interesting to see the influence his father had on him and his later writings. The d
...more
Alex
I love this series of books, and this volume, accompanied by the evocative illustrations of R. Crumb, is one of the best. This short introduction is probably old news for serious Kafka fans, but I think the authors' presentation of the place Kafka has taken in our culture makes this treatment worth reading (particularly by anyone who has ever turned Kafka into an adjective). I was giddy after seeing a license plate at dinner on NYE in one of Ann Arbor's swankiest restaurants, emblazoned, simply ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Back when I was a kid there were these comics titled Classics Illustrated. That were comic book versions of classic literature: Moby Dick, The Count of Monte Cristo, Tom Sawyer etc. The drawings weren’t that good, the synopsized storylines didn’t really do justice to the actual books and sometimes the back page, filled with advertisements selling sea monkeys and x-ray glasses, held more interest. Yet when I grew up and actually read the books depicted in these comics, I found I had a fundamental ...more
Sverre
The tragically bizarre, obsessive, pathological, paranoid world of Franz Kakfka’s literature is abundant with descriptively distressful anguish. Much of the artistry of Robert Crumb is equally expressive of the bizarre, obsessive, pathological and paranoid. How apt then to discover a book that poignantly celebrates the extraordinary weirdness of both Kafka and Crumb. (It should, however, in contrast, be emphasized that Kafka had an aversion to sexual intimacy whereas Crumb has had a predispositi ...more
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5866191
Robert Dennis Crumb (born August 30, 1943)— is an American artist, illustrator, and musician recognized for the distinctive style of his drawings and his critical, satirical, subversive view of the American mainstream.

Crumb was a founder of the underground comix movement and is regarded as its most prominent figure. Though one of the most celebrated of comic book artists, Crumb's entire career has
...more
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