Franz Kafka: The Poet of Shame and Guilt (Jewish Lives)
A highly original and engaging appraisal of Kafka’s life, work, legacy, and thought Franz Kafka was the poet of his own disorder. Throughout his life he struggled with a pervasive sense of shame and guilt that left traces in his daily existence-in his many letters, in his extensive diaries, and especially in his fiction. This stimulating book investigates some of the sources of Kafka’s personal anguish and its complex reflections in his imaginary world. In his query, Saul Friedlander probes major aspects of Kafka’s life (family, Judaism, love and sex, writing, illness, and despair) that until now have been skewed by posthumous censorship. Contrary to Kafka’s dying request that all his papers be burned, Max Brod, Kafka’s closest friend and literary executor, edited and published the author’s novels and other works soon after his death in 1924. Friedlander shows that, when reinserted in Kafka’s letters and diaries, deleted segments lift the mask of “sainthood” frequently attached to the writer and thus restore previously hidden aspects of his individuality.
About the Author
Saul Friedlander is a renowned historian of the Holocaust and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author. He is Distinguished Emeritus Professor of History and Club 39 Endowed Chair in Holocaust Studies at UCLA. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
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On August 28, 1963, something quite amazing occurred. On that day, one of the largest political rallies ever took place in support of civil and economic rights of African-Americans, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, gave one of the most stirring speeches in history when he delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. This book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of this address and includes narrative and more than 100 stunning photos from the march in Birmingham, Alabama, through the March on Washington. The photographs come from Bob Adelman, one of the most notable photographers of this movement. His work has been featured in Time, Newsweek, and the Associated Press. It is authored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), an organization in which Dr. King served as the first president.
About the Author
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) is an African-American civil rights organization. SCLC was closely associated with its first president, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCLC had a large role in the American Civil Rights Movement. SCLC is a now a nation-wide organization made up of chapters and affiliates with programs that affect the lives of all Americans: north, south, east and west. Its sphere of influence and interests has become international in scope because the human rights movement transcends national boundaries. Bob Adelman (Miami, FL) is an American photographer known for his images of the African-American Civil Rights Movement. Raised on Long Island, New York, he earned his B.A. at Rutgers University, Law Studies from Harvard University, and M.A. in Philosophy from Columbia University. Adelman used his background as a graduate student in Applied Aesthetics from Columbia University to forge close ties with leading figures of art and literature, including Andy Warhol and Samuel Beckett. After studying photography for several years under the tutelage of famed Harper’s Bazaar art director Alexey Brodovitch, Adelman volunteered as a photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality in the early 1960s, a position that granted him access to Civil Rights Movement’s key leaders, including Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and James Baldwin. Adelman currently resides in Miami Beach. His work is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery.
Raised in a desperately poor village during the height of China’s Cultural Revolution, Li Cunxin’s childhood revolved around the commune, his family and Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. Until, that is, Madame Mao’s cultural delegates came in search of young peasants to study ballet at the academy in Beijing and he was thrust into a completely unfamiliar world. When a trip to Texas as part of a rare cultural exchange opened his eyes to life and love beyond China’s borders, he defected to the United States in an extraordinary and dramatic tale of Cold War intrigue. Told in his own distinctive voice, this is Li’s inspirational story of how he came to be Mao’s last dancer, and one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers.
About the Author
Li Cunxin was born in a village near the city of Qingdao, northern China, in 1961. At the age of eleven, he was chosen to become a student at the Beijing Dance Academy. After attending a summer school in America, he defected to the West and became a principal dancer for the Houston Ballet. Li now lives in Australia with his wife and their three children.
On the eve of the Great War, they had the world at – and watching – their feet. If God is in the details, they were divine. Vernon and Irene Castle were the world’s first true celebrity couple. He was the son of a pub landlord from Norfolk, she, his wife and dance partner, a New York doctor’s daughter. He was tall and slim, as poised as an elegant evening out, a template for the Hollywood idols who would follow. In a staid age, she was a glorious, modern beauty, with her haired cropped into a ‘shock’, a disdain for crippling corsets, a love of a martini and a good time. The Castles taught the world to dance to an altogether different tune, bringing social dancing out of stuffy ballrooms and into dance halls, night clubs and restaurants. For the first time, they made dancing in public respectable – and fun. Convention was discarded, fashion and style established. As a result, the couple lived and tangoed through torrential showers of stardust. When, in 1939, Hollywood filmed their story, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers played, and danced, the title roles. Together, they beat the censors and made their vibrant dancing acceptable for all. In the fashionable quarters of New York they opened a dance school and night clubs to which Society flocked. They broke the rules by touring with black musicians, and led the way forward to the Charleston-galloping Gatsby Generation. They enlightened and enchanted from London to Paris to New York, spreading a breathless joy, as though their music had one note, and their dances one step, too many. Launching one racy dance craze after another, they taught the world to dance – and often dress – the way we do today. Adored and acclaimed, they were stars long before the celebrity constellations grew crowded. Yet the whirlwind story of perhaps the most influential dance team ever is also one of tragedy. Their timing, so perfect in everything else, saw Vernon Castle, at the height of their fame, return to England to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps; he saw action as a pilot on the Western Front, winning the Croix de Guerre, while his wife made special appearances to support the Allied war effort. And then, in February1918, he was killed in a flying accident in Texas, while training American pilots for war. Irene received a last note from him: ‘When you receive this letter I shall be gone out of your sweet life. You may be sure that I died with your sweet name on my lips – be brave and don’t cry, my angel.’ She and many others did cry, for as far as the world was concerned Vernon and Irene Castle could have danced all night, and for ever.
About the Author
Douglas Thompson is the acclaimed author of more than twenty books, many of them bestselling biographies, including working with Christine Keeler to write her own revealing memoir. A biographer, broadcaster and international journalist, he is a regular contributor to major newspapers and magazines worldwide. Douglas is a director of one of Britain’s major literary festivals, and divides his time between a medieval Suffolk village and California, where he was based as a Fleet Street correspondent and columnist for more than twenty years. His most recent work for John Blake Publishing is Stephen Ward: Scapegoat, a study of the rakish charmer at the centre of the Profumo Scandal.
Between inventing the concept of a universal computer in 1936 and breaking the German Enigma code during World War II, Alan Turing (1912-1954), the British founder of computer science and artificial intelligence, came to Princeton University to study mathematical logic. Some of the greatest logicians in the world–including Alonzo Church, Kurt Godel, John von Neumann, and Stephen Kleene–were at Princeton in the 1930s, and they were working on ideas that would lay the groundwork for what would become known as computer science. This book presents a facsimile of the original typescript of Turing’s fascinating and influential 1938 Princeton PhD thesis, one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science. The book also features essays by Andrew Appel and Solomon Feferman that explain the still-unfolding significance of the ideas Turing developed at Princeton. A work of philosophy as well as mathematics, Turing’s thesis envisions a practical goal–a logical system to formalize mathematical proofs so they can be checked mechanically. If every step of a theorem could be verified mechanically, the burden on intuition would be limited to the axioms. Turing’s point, as Appel writes, is that “mathematical reasoning can be done, and should be done, in mechanizable formal logic.” Turing’s vision of “constructive systems of logic for practical use” has become reality: in the twenty-first century, automated “formal methods” are now routine. Presented here in its original form, this fascinating thesis is one of the key documents in the history of mathematics and computer science.
About the Author
Andrew W. Appel is the Eugene Higgins Professor and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science at Princeton University.