It is not surprising that, in his new book on Kafka, Pietro Citati has written a psycho-biography; what writer is more suited to such an approach than Franz Kafka? His not quite forty-one years on earth were largely uneventful on the outside and frantically, frighteningly dramatic within. Erich Heller has noted about Kafka, “I suppose we have to thank God that he blessed us all with a lesser degree of understanding,” and for “understanding” we may just as well read “sensitivity.” Kafka’s apparatus for feeling and comprehending worked without surcease, waking and sleeping, even when nothing much was happening to, with, or around its owner. And to record the work of such an apparatus, one writes a psycho-biography.

But what exactly is psychobiography, such as Citati has written here? It is one writer’s study of another’s impressions, reactions, ideas, beliefs, thoughts, and...


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Pietro Citati
French & European Pubns, 0 pages

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