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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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 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.
Christo Brand was a South African farm boy, born into the Afrikaans culture which had created apartheid to persecute black people and claim superiority for whites. Nelson Mandela, also raised in a rural village, was the black son of a tribal chief. He trained as a lawyer to take up the fight against apartheid on behalf of a whole nation. Their opposing worlds collided when Christo, a raw recruit from the country’s prison service, was sent to Robben Island to guard the notoriously dangerous terrorists there. Mandela was their undisputed leader. The two of them, a boy of 18 and a long-suffering freedom fighter then aged 60, could well have become bitter enemies. Instead, they formed an extraordinary friendship through small human kindnesses. Christo, a gentle young man who valued ordinary decency and courtesy, struck a chord with the wise and resilient old freedom fighter who was prepared to die to liberate his people. The African tribesman in Mandela meant that family was a priority for him, yet he had been sentenced to life imprisonment. When his mother died, he was refused permission to go to her funeral. Mandela, the oldest son whose responsibility was written in blood, wept with shame and despair. Christo was to witness that despair many times during his years as Mandela’s prison warder. When Winnie secretly brought their tiny granddaughter to Robben Island it was Christo who risked his own freedom to put the baby in Mandela’s arms. Their friendship was sealed by many such shared moments. And the bond of trust between the two men extended beyond Mandela’s prison years. As President of South Africa, he called for Christo and gave him a job in the archives department in Parliament. He invited Christo and his family into his home and advised his two sons on their careers. A few weeks before his death, Mandela made another call, to say goodbye. This book tells the story of their friendship in Christo’s words for the first time.