He returned to Germany in 1919, where he received a degree in semitic languages at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. Less notable in his academic career was his establishment of the fictive University of Muri with Benjamin.
I'm surprised to see this book is in print. I stumbled on a copy of the 1971, revised second clothbound edition in a community college library and have never seen it anywhere else.
Kafka is a hard man to know, let alone to like, through his fiction. One feels respect, admiration, awe ... but perhaps not affection or warmth. This book, compiled by a youthful acquaintance from his memories of chats with Kafka, provides a wonderfully human, if dubiously accurate (how could he remember all these lengthy quotations?), image of the man.
At times he seems pragmatically direct, even patronising to his listener: "There is too much noise in your poems; it is a by-product of youth, which indicates an excess of vitality. So that the noise is itself beautiful, though it has nothing in common with art. On the contrary! The noise mars the expression...." Sometimes he can be sardonic, as when he refers to newspapers as the vice of civilization -- they offer the events of the world with no meaning, a "heap of earth and sand" -- and remarks, "It's like smoking; one has to pay the printer the price of poisoning oneself." (Good thing he didn't live to see TV!)
More often, Kafka comes across as some sort of Zen master: "Just be quiet and patient. Let evil and unpleasantness pass quietly over you. Do not try to avoid them. On the contrary, observe them carefully. Let active understanding take the place of reflex irritation, and you will grow out of your trouble. Men can achieve greatness only by surmounting their own littleness."
Janouch relates a story from his father that Kafka once paid a powerful lawyer-friend to help out an injured laborer with his application for a disability pension, get his rightful compensation, and beat Kafka's employer, the Accident Insurance Institution.
Give this book five stars for interest and readability, three stars for shaky accuracy, and average at four.
Shared characteristics, as in One of the few things John and Mary have in common is a love of music. [Mid-1600s]
[形]((米))架空の, 偽りの, 想像上の；創作的な
a fictive art
- [名]1 [U]フィクション；((集合的))フィクションによる作品, 小説. ⇒NONFICTION2 [C]（個々の作品をさして）小説 Orwell's satiric fictionオーウェ...
- [形]〈物語・話が〉フィクションの, 作り事の, 虚構［架空］の；小説的な a fictional character（作り話の）登場人物, 架空の人物 a fictional narrator...