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In this gripping literary detective story, Kathi Diamant brings to light the amazing woman who captured Kafka's heart and kept his literary flame alive for decades. It was Dora Diamant, an independent spirit who fled her Polish Hasidic family to pursue her Zionist dreams, who persuaded Kafka to leave his parents and live with her in Berlin the year before he died. Although many credit (or blame) her for burning many of his papers, as he had requested, she also held onto many others-papers that the Gestapo confiscated and that have yet to be recovered. Dora's life after Kafka-from her days as a struggling agitprop actress in Berlin to her sojourn in Moscow in the 1930s, from her wartime escape to Great Britain, to her first emotional visit to the new nation of Israel-offers a prism through which we can view the cultural and political history of twentieth-century Europe.Based on original sources and interviews, including never-before-seen material from the Comintern and Gestapo archives and Dora's newly discovered notebook, diary, and letters, Kafka's Last Love illuminates the life of a literary "wife" who, like Véra Nabokov and Nora Joyce, is a remarkable woman in her own right.
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Kathi Diamant is the Director of the Kafka Project at San Diego State University. For over fifteen years she has been immersed in the story of Dora Diamant, retracing Dora's steps in Europe, discovering neglected archives and lost papers, and conducting interviews with every known living person who knew her. She lives in San Diego, CA.From Publishers Weekly:
Franz Kafka's story is well known, Dora Diamant's is not. She was, as the title states, his last love, and the author (no relation), director of the Kafka Project at San Diego State University, has assiduously tracked the traces of her subjects through personal recollections, private papers and newly opened archives in the former Soviet bloc. Dora (1898- 1952) and Kafka first met at a Baltic resort, and she was instantly captivated by his intelligence and deep sensitivity. Kafka in turn was swept away by the vivacious 25-year-old Polish-born Jew, who had fled her Orthodox family for the broader intellectual currents of Weimar Germany. But Yiddish was her first language and she knew Jewish traditions, and Kafka found her a beacon for the religion his own family had rejected. The author describes at great length the one year the lovers lived together in Berlin, but more interesting is the account of Dora and her larger family history after Kafka's painful death in 1924. Here was a woman intent on keeping Kafka's flame alive, who was forced by war and political upheaval to flee from one country after another. Many relatives died in the Holocaust. Her treasured possessions, Kafka's last diaries, were seized by the Gestapo and have never been found. For 15 years her husband, having served time in Nazi prisons and the Soviet gulag, lived in East Berlin, unaware that Dora and their daughter had survived the war. The remarkable story continues in Moscow, London, San Francisco and Tel Aviv, the far-flung points of dispersal of a family caught in the maelstroms of fascism, communism and the Holocaust. 16 pages of b&w photos.
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Book Description Basic Books, New York, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition 2003, first printing, numbers line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent page corners, reminder mark. DJ new bright and shiny, no edgewear, no tears no chips, price not clipped. 8vo, 402 pages, bibliography, index. Seller Inventory # 002708
Book Description Basic Books, New York, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. 1st Edition. First edition 2003, first printing, numbers line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no names no underlinings no highlights no bent page corners, reminder mark. DJ new bright and shiny, no edgewear, no tears no chips, price not clipped. 8vo, 402 pages, bibliography, index. Seller Inventory # 002707
Book Description Basic Books, 2003. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0465015506
Book Description Basic Books, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110465015506
Book Description Basic Books, 2003. Hardcover. Condition: New. export ed. Seller Inventory # DADAX0465015506