web site hit counter I Am a Memory Come Alive: Autobiographical Writings - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

I Am a Memory Come Alive: Autobiographical Writings

Availability: Ready to download


Compare

47 review for I Am a Memory Come Alive: Autobiographical Writings

  1. 5 out of 5

    S̶e̶a̶n̶

    Franz Kafka planned to write an autobiography but never did, although much of his published work reflects his life, in some cases quite closely. This book, exquisitely pieced together from letters and diaries by editor Nahum Glatzer, likely provides a truer and more revealing window into Kafka's head than a proper autobiography would have. He never knew these words would someday be published, and that alone makes this volume more of an intimate read. I did not get far in each sitting with this b Franz Kafka planned to write an autobiography but never did, although much of his published work reflects his life, in some cases quite closely. This book, exquisitely pieced together from letters and diaries by editor Nahum Glatzer, likely provides a truer and more revealing window into Kafka's head than a proper autobiography would have. He never knew these words would someday be published, and that alone makes this volume more of an intimate read. I did not get far in each sitting with this book, as I was constantly copying quotes down into my notebook. So many of his words hit me hard. Every once in a while I tune in deep to a certain writer and this happened to me with Kafka recently. I'd read several of his books before and he was always in the back of my mind as a writer I wanted to revisit. I knew that he kept diaries that had later been published, and I sensed through reading his fiction that I would like to read some of his more personal writing. I was not wrong. I am now sad that I've finished reading this book, as I found it to be a comfort in daily life. Every day I discovered new ways to relate to Kafka. He lived largely inside his own head, which can be both terrifying and exciting. He also always kept room for loneliness in his life, “rush[ing] toward being alone as rivers rush toward the sea.” Reading his words, often depressing though they are, offered a warm sad comfort similar to the one I feel while listening to certain songs. The idea of a not wholly unwelcome sadness may seem alien to some, but I know there are others that understand. What I found fascinating was the disconnect between how Kafka portrayed himself in his diaries and letters, and how the few people whose other viewpoints are presented in the book saw him, in particular two of the women he was involved with, Milena Jesenská and Dora Diamant. Even more interesting was how differently from each other the two of them saw him. It made me think about how so many of us are maybe quietly dying inside, while outwardly holding it together with tight smiles and easy laughs. After all, telling the people in your life how you really feel inside is not such a simple task to accomplish, nor one that everyone feels comfortable undertaking, especially when the reaction of others is in question. Dealing in the superficial makes everyday life so much more bearable. Or does it. Kafka believed that the tuberculosis that ultimately killed him came from his mind: he writes to Milena Jesenská that “the disease of the lung is nothing but an overflowing of my mental illness.” He thought that since he'd spent so long imagining his own death, that his physical disease was merely a manifestation of that obsession. While it's possible that Kafka was prone to hyperbole, even in his own diaries, I doubt that he exaggerated his existential turmoil much beyond satisfying his own writerly need to find the precise words to describe it, which is something that many people who suffer from such similar struggles aren't able to easily do (once again, the superficial wins out, e.g. answering 'fine' to 'how are you' versus answering 'the alarm trumpets of nothingness'). But what measurable effect Kafka's own inner darkness ultimately had on his physical health, though, is impossible to say. I plan to one day read the full volumes of Kafka's diaries, and perhaps some of the volumes of his letters, but for now this was an extremely satisfying condensed amalgamation of the two. I will be thinking about this book for a long time, as well as rereading the quotes I wrote down in my notebook, one of which I would like to share now. While it is bleak, and it's unknown whether Kafka is speaking of himself here, the words resonated strongly with me, and I believe this diary entry to be a powerful and accurate snapshot of how Kafka saw himself near the end of his short life: Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate—he has little success in this—but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins, for he sees different (and more) things than do the others; after all, dead as he is in his own lifetime, he is the real survivor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Olivestarr

    If you really want to understand Kafka you should read this book first. It is an extremely intimate look into his mind and soul. This book gives you a front row seat of the inner workings of his mind..

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stella Wang

    I must admit that I finish this one kinda carelessly because some parts also appear in the books that I read previously, "Blue Octavo Notebooks" and "Letters to Milena". But, if you want to know more about Kafka's personal life and his writing process, this is definitely the one to go. To Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904: "I believe that we should read only those books that bite and sting us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? Because it will make I must admit that I finish this one kinda carelessly because some parts also appear in the books that I read previously, "Blue Octavo Notebooks" and "Letters to Milena". But, if you want to know more about Kafka's personal life and his writing process, this is definitely the one to go. To Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904: "I believe that we should read only those books that bite and sting us. If a book we are reading does not rouse us with a blow to the head, then why read it? Because it will make us happy, you tell me? My God, we would also be happy if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy we could, if necessary, write ourselves. What we need are books that affect us like some really grievous misfortune, like the death of one whom we loved more than ourselves, as if we were banished to distant forests, away from everybody, like a suicide; a book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe". To Felice, February 18-19: "Observations on the weakness of language, and comparisons between the limitations of words and the infinity of feelings, are quite fallacious. The infinite feeling continues to be as infinite in words as it was in the heart. [...] After all, who knows within himself how things really are with him? This tempestuous or floundering or morasslike inner self is what we really are, but by the secret process by which words are forced out of us, our self-knowledge is brought to light, and thought it may still be veiled, yet it is there before us, wonderful or terrible to behold".

  4. 4 out of 5

    J Simpson

    i did not finish this, as i just have limited time to read these days and sometimes when i put something down i become disengaged. All that aside, i found this book illuminating, particularly as i have not read much of Kafka's work, and it was interesting to see what went into their creation. What i really took away from this, and what i think others with creative leanings may find as well, was how absolutely driven to create this man was, to the point of insanity. Its all that he ever talked ab i did not finish this, as i just have limited time to read these days and sometimes when i put something down i become disengaged. All that aside, i found this book illuminating, particularly as i have not read much of Kafka's work, and it was interesting to see what went into their creation. What i really took away from this, and what i think others with creative leanings may find as well, was how absolutely driven to create this man was, to the point of insanity. Its all that he ever talked about. He lived entirely in his head. He was an absolutely neurotic, anxious, hypochondriac human being, which translated into his work being some of the most paranoid around. How i related to this was the struggle of a 'normal' man, who has to work to survive and pay the bills, and having his soul bludgeoned down by senseless repetition, mediocrity, and bureacracy, and the soul of a sensitive man struggling to survive in this rat race. Its just really hard to find time to create, the way i would like, and i find it inspirational and reassuring to see others who have had the same struggles, and who manage to create anyway, surviving the insanity that ensues. Best quote, possibly ever (somewhat paraphrased): 'i find my job at the law office a sort of insane double life, in which the only escape is madness or death.' The only down-side to this book, in my opinion, is his neuroses and living such a cerebral existence, leads to a lot of neurotic, hypochondriac belly-aching, that can be a bit tiresome at times. I get enough of that in my own day. Recommended, though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Patricija

  6. 4 out of 5

    Peace

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ariel Francisco

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Choi

  9. 4 out of 5

    jessica

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sorina Finichiu

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.i.h

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tess

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rick Vetrone

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne-laure

  17. 4 out of 5

    Masha

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  19. 4 out of 5

    Meenoo Rami

  20. 4 out of 5

    Robert

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Diehl

  22. 4 out of 5

    evan

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heather

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aberjhani

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tanya

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miss Vu

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anup Anand

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emilie

  30. 4 out of 5

    Rashmi

  31. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

  32. 4 out of 5

    David

  33. 4 out of 5

    Judith

  34. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

  35. 4 out of 5

    Ron

  36. 4 out of 5

    Tialiah

  37. 4 out of 5

    Brianna

  38. 4 out of 5

    Paraph

  39. 5 out of 5

    David Brown

  40. 5 out of 5

    David Hammond

  41. 4 out of 5

    Dp

  42. 5 out of 5

    Anthony

  43. 4 out of 5

    Erik Robinson

  44. 4 out of 5

    Jake

  45. 5 out of 5

    M

  46. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  47. 4 out of 5

    Nick

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.