Kafka wrote Das Urteil, his first major work of literature, in a single night in the autumn of 1912. It was for him a breakthrough, and closely connected with it was the awakening of his interest in Jewish culture. This is a general study of Kafka, which explores the literary and historical context of his writings, and links them with his emergent sense of Jewish identity. What is emphasized throughout is Kafka's concern with contemporary society - his distrust of its secular, humanitarian ideals - and his desire for a new kind of community, based on religion.
' One of the best books on Kafka to have appeared for a long time ... This is an extremely valuable study of Kafka that will influence profoundly future assessments of his work. It deserves the highest possible recommendation.'
Denys Dyer, British Book News
'This monograph ... offers considerably more than a comprehensive analysis of Kafka's origins in "decadent" aestheticism, of the personal impulses and cultural contexts that shaped his beginnings as a dandy. An innovative study of Kafka's search for literature, cogent and elegantly argued throughout.'
M. Winkler, Rice University, Choice, January 1993