Events | The Diaries of Franz Kafka

Los Angeles, Villa Aurora | February 23, 2023 | 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM (PST)

Kevin Vennemann in conversation with Ross Benjamin on translating The Diaries of Franz Kafka with an open discussion afterwards. 


Franz Kafka was born in 1883 in Prague, where he lived most of his life. During his lifetime, he published only a few short stories, including “The Metamorphosis,” “The Judgment,” and “The Stoker.” He died in 1924, before completing any of his full-length novels. At the end of his life, Kafka asked his lifelong friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn all his unpublished work. Brod overrode those wishes. 



An essential new translation of the author’s complete, uncensored diaries—a revelation of the idiosyncrasies and rough edges of one of the twentieth century’s most influential writers. "This new and scrupulously faithful translation of the Diaries brings us...the true inner life of the twentieth century’s most complex and enigmatic literary prophet." —Cynthia Ozick, author of Antiquities.

Dating from 1909 to 1923, the handwritten diaries contain various kinds of writing: accounts of daily events, reflections, observations, literary sketches, drafts of letters, accounts of dreams, as well as finished stories. This volume makes available for the first time in English a comprehensive reconstruction of the diary entries and provides substantial new content, including details, names, literary works, and passages of a sexual nature that were omitted from previous publications. By faithfully reproducing the diaries’ distinctive—and often surprisingly unpolished—writing in Kafka’s notebooks, translator Ross Benjamin brings to light not only the author’s use of the diaries for literary experimentation and private self-expression, but also their value as a work of art in themselves. 


Ross Benjamin’s translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion, Joseph Roth’s Job, and Daniel Kehlmann’s You Should Have Left and Tyll. He was awarded the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov, and he received a Guggenheim fellowship for his work on Franz Kafka’s diaries. 



The event will take place at
Villa Aurora
520 Paseo Miramar
Los Angeles, CA 90272
Admission is free
Mandatory RSVP here.


Street Parking is available on Los Liones Drive. Shuttle service starts at 6:30pm from Los Liones Drive, off Sunset Boulevard two blocks North East of Pacific Coast Highway. Please do not park on the Topanga State Park Lot!

We kindly ask our guests to wear masks inside.

In cooperation with Schocken Books


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