Letters to Milena by Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka's letters to Milena date from 1920 to 1922. While their correspondence is very rich, we have only letters from the writer that show the intensity of his short passion. It is with great ease of writing that Kafka evokes his troubles, even his disturbances in the face of the absence and lack of this young married woman with whom he is madly in love.
In Vienna, Milena Jesensko translated Kafka's first short stories into Czech in 1920. They met on this occasion in Merano, the writer's place of rehab. She's 24, he's 38. Kafka is sick and it will often take over. He evokes his fears and his letters can be inflamed or cynical. Milena and Franz will see little but will be very close and their passion will occupy the whole place. Yet the letters of an impossible love that is too difficult to bear will become spaced out and will eventually cease.
"The voice of Kafka in Letters to Milena is more personal, purer, and more painful than in his fiction: a testimony to human existence and to our eternal wait for the impossible. [This is] a marvelous new edition of a classic text." —Jan Kott
"An extraordinary document—touching, horrifying, brilliant, sickly, heartbreaking, and infinitely convoluted . . . It reveals him most clearly (which is relative, and Kafka remains mystifying enough), and it is—aside from the beauty of the letters themselves—the most significant key we have for a reading of the author's novels and short stories." —The New York Times