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Letter to His Father (1919)

by Franz Kafka

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,4332910,976 (3.77)12
In this open letter to his father - a letter which was never sent - Kafka tries to come to terms with one of the most deeply rooted obsessions of his troubled soul. Written as a long, tense and dramatic confession in which writer and man are gathered together in front of an ambivalent figure of authority, Dearest Father is a desperate attempt to retrace the origins of a turbulent relationship between an unflinching parent and an extremely sensitive child. Both a merciless indictmentof his father and an impassioned appeal to him, Kafka's inspired work is one of the most lucid and touching psychological documents in twentieth-century literature. This volume also includes passages from Kafka's diaries and correspondence.… (more)
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» See also 12 mentions

English (13)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  All languages (24)
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Ein Brief Kafkas an seinen Vater, der als Schlüssel zu seinem gesamten Werk gilt. ( )
  chepedaja3527 | Aug 23, 2022 |
8402093965
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
Dearest Father is a letter that Franz Kafka wrote to his father about the hardship and emotional abuse he went through as his son. His father never read it though as Franz had given it to his mother to give to his father but she never gave it to him, instead, returned it back to Franz. The letter, like most of Kafka's writes, wasn't meant for the public eye.

To read about what Kafka went through and how that formed him into the adult he was when he wrote it (36 years old) made me so sad.

“It is as if a person were a prisoner, and he had not only the intention to escape, which would perhaps be attainable, but also, and indeed simultaneously, the intention to rebuild the prison as a pleasure dome for himself. But if he escapes, he cannot rebuild, and if he rebuilds, he cannot escape.”

Because this wasn't intended for the public consumption, the writing is so raw and filled with the human experience. Kafka cries for both freedom and recognition from his father that he never did receive.

I always feel a little weird reading pieces that authors themselves never published because you never know if they ever wanted it out there. However, Kafka writes at one point,

"What do these children know? Nobody's been through that! Does any child understand such things today?"

And I think he would appreciate that he wasn't alone when it comes to it and that his letter might help others to see the same. ( )
  oldandnewbooksmell | Sep 24, 2021 |
The genius of Kafka: he writes a letter to his father. His father comes across as a horrific human being. At the end of the letter, Kafka imagines his father's response--and it's just as convincing as Kafka's accusations. Nobody is innocent before the law. ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
This was an eloquent, and detailed, letter from Franz Kafka to his father. Through it, you are able to see the man behind the works that he is most known for. The depiction is sharp, and Kafka does not try to disguise himself (even with the fear of his father being present- a concept that comes up several times in his letter) in his rendition. It is a deep letter and one that now, having read it, feel that I have a slightly larger glimpse of the man behind the letters, words, sentences, paragraphs, and pages that compose his oeuvre of work.

3.5 stars- worth it. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Jul 18, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (69 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kafka, Franzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chiusano, Italo AlighieroForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crnković, ZlatkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eisner, PavelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eisnerová, DagmarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Formosa, FeliuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofbauer, IgorIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaiser, ErnstTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Obran, ZvonimirAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ricci, FrancescaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrents, RicardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilkins, EithneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Predragi oče, nedavno si me jednom prilikom upitao zašto ja tvrdim da osjećam strah pred tobom?
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In this open letter to his father - a letter which was never sent - Kafka tries to come to terms with one of the most deeply rooted obsessions of his troubled soul. Written as a long, tense and dramatic confession in which writer and man are gathered together in front of an ambivalent figure of authority, Dearest Father is a desperate attempt to retrace the origins of a turbulent relationship between an unflinching parent and an extremely sensitive child. Both a merciless indictmentof his father and an impassioned appeal to him, Kafka's inspired work is one of the most lucid and touching psychological documents in twentieth-century literature. This volume also includes passages from Kafka's diaries and correspondence.

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Pagine di profonda commozione, una lunga, intensa e drammatica confessione in cui l’uomo e lo scrittore si trovano indissolubilmente uniti di fronte alla figura del padre, troppo a lungo temuta e fuggita. È il tentativo disperato e doloroso di risalire alle origini di un rapporto difficile e profondamente conflittuale con l’autorità paterna, cieca di fronte alle esigenze di un animo particolarmente sensibile, che ha scelto di vivere appartato e in silenzio seguendo esclusivamente la propria natura e una inclinazione eminentemente letteraria. Quasi a volersi riappropriare di tutte le ragioni sentite e abbandonate nell’angolo più intimo e segreto di se stesso, quasi a volere recuperare per un ultimo, definitivo chiarimento le parole non dette e tutti i più remoti motivi della propria angoscia, Kafka ritorna in queste splendide pagine al suo fanciullesco sentire, a una giovinezza tormentata, a un padre lontano, inaccessibile, ostile, che non l’ha mai compreso. Segue il racconto La condanna che riprende il difficile rapporto tra padre e figlio.
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