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The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  110 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A comprehensive and interpretative biography of Franz Kafka that is both a monumental work of scholarship and a vivid, lively evocation of Kafka's world.
Hardcover, First edition, 496 pages
Published June 1st 1984 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 1st 1984)
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Lynne King
I read this excellent book years ago and was just browsing through it after I had seen that Kall had marked it "as to read" and had made reference to Ernst Pawel's obituary.

I have so many books, especially biographies, that I have only read once. It takes something from another individual, in this case Kall, to cause me to re-visit a book.

I found Kafka to be such a complex idividual, especially in his relationships with women. His engagement (actually two) with Felice Bauer was stormy and then h
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Aberjhani
Jun 24, 2015 Aberjhani rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of literary biography and history.
FOR THE LOVE OF A GENIUS NAMED KAFKA

Few twentieth century authors have had as widespread an impact on modern literature as Franz Kafka. Even fewer biographers have managed to serve their subject so well as Ernst Pawel does the eternally enigmatic Kafka in THE NIGHTMARE OF REASON: A LIFE OF FRANZ KAFKA.

If ever the term "tortured genius" was applicable to one of the giants of literary history, it was without question to the Prague-born Jewish author Franz Kafka. Born July 3, 1883, to this day Ka
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Christina Wilder
Jan 24, 2013 Christina Wilder marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Ooh, Kafka. That's my man, right there. Here's hoping the book's as intriguing as it looks.
William Stobb
May 28, 2007 William Stobb rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Milan Kundera, women who consider dating writers
It's interesting to learn about Franz Kafka in all these ways. His friends really liked him and thought he was funny, but when he was alone, he was paralyzed by insecurity and indecision. He tried to have girlfriends, and he sort of did, but he couldn't escape from the idea of his father. I feel bad for Franz Kafka, and grateful that he was able to complete his great works.
Alan Hall
I read this during my Kafka obsession in my twenties - want to go to Prague on a Kafka pilgrimage one day. He never willingly left the city- ' the little mother has claws' he said of Prague
Danne
It captures the "feel" of Kafka and his times quite well, and i did gain new insghts into the world of Kafka, a recommended reading for all Kafkaists, beginners as well as seasoned ones
Loyd
An enlightening and somewhat disturbing biography of Franz Kafka. Well researched and terribly sad. It's hard to tell where the genius begins and the tortured soul ends.
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“Common consensus is not thought but wishful thinking.” 4 likes
“Nothing expresses Kafka’s innermost sense of self more profoundly than his lapidary definition of “writing as a form of prayer”: he was a writer. Not a man who wrote, but one to whom writing was the only form of being, the only means of defying death in life.” 1 likes
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