Felice Bauer was Kafka's first great love and the inspiration for his first great fiction. Six weeks after they met, he wrote "The Judgment" for her in one night of feverish activity. Kafka always inferred to the traumatic, public breaking-off of their engagement as his "tribunal," and indeed he began work on The Trial within a month of that event.
Kafka's letters to Felice offer rare insights into the writer's life and art. Elias Canetti's brilliant and sensitive examination of this moving correspondence to shows is the origins of Kafka's voice as a writer and his torment as a man.