By Franz Kafka
Kafka's letters to Felice Bauer have been written among 1912 and 1917, in which time they have been two times engaged to be married. This advanced dating, which coincided with a interval of serious productiveness for Kafka, gave him either wish and energy, yet steadily disllusionment and the onset of disease drove them aside. those letters stay as a monument to the internal lifetime of an artistic artist.
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Additional info for Letters to Felice
Must she not have felt most terribly betrayed, although he had never deceived her intentionally, and even if she recognized that nothing ever had raised her so high as did the incandescent language of his letters? As deeply problematical as Kafka’s love, was his attitude toward his writing. ” Often it seems that Kafka had no will except this; and this one aspired to a world in which no “last wills” had to be made, because it was that “spiritual world” which, he once said, alone had true existence: “What we call the world of the senses is the evil in the spiritual world”; and the never-satisfied claim he made upon art, his art, was that it should cleanse the only true world, the spiritual one, of the evil in it—by means of the absolute perfection of its language.
What Kafka’s true “will” was—whether its words were valid in their literalness or in their “methodical” intent—would have been hard to decide for anyone entrusted with carrying out his ruinous order, let alone for his closest friend whose spiritual life was determined in no small measure by the fondest admiration of the other’s works, and who had, moreover, warned him that he would not act as such an executor. ” What then is Kafka’s “true will” with regard to his works? In one of his last letters to Felice (October 1, 1917), he speaks of two beings that fight each other within himself; or rather, he says that he is their fight and will perish in their struggle.
Felice’s father died in November 1914. In September 1916, encouraged by Kafka, Felice volunteered for work in the Jewish People’s Home in Berlin, a center for Jewish relief work founded by Siegfried Lehmann in May of that year and situated near the Alexanderplatz, a section of Berlin largely inhabited by East European Jews, both war refugees and immigrants. Max Brod, Martin Buber, and Gustav Landauer were among its supporters. The purpose of the Home was the cultural and religious education of the children and young people from these families, some of whom were living in extremely reduced circumstances.