Monday, August 11, 2008
Originally aired on February 12, 2008.
Alan Ray : Franz Kafka was an early 20th century Czech writer who's name has entered our language. You've probably heard someone use the expression "Kafkaesque" to describe some unpleasant situation that defies logic. Novels and short stories written by Kafka include the Trial and the Metamorphasis, in which the main character turns into a huge cockroach.
But the life of the real Franz Kafka was not like that. In fact, we've learned quite a bit about the real man through his relationship with the woman named Dora Diamant. Kafka became Dora's boyfriend, in fact, he actually proposed marriage to her shortly before he died in 1924.
The story of their relationship is told in a book written by local author Kathi Diamant. The book is called Kafka's Last Love: The Mystery of Dora Diamant, and it was published three years ago. But Kathi's exploration of the subject continues as she searches for some letters and notebooks written by Kafka. These were in possession of Dora Diamant but were seized by the German Gestapo in the 1930s.
Tom Fudge talked with Kathi Diamant earlier this year about the Kafka Project. Here is that interview.