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Faithfully Seeking Franz

Faithfully Seeking Franz

By Elana Wolff

The itinerary of Faithfully Seeking Franz comprises an irregular quest for dead mentor, modernist author Franz Kafka—in places he lived, worked, vacationed and convalesced, and in the body of work he left: fiction, diaries, notebooks, and correspondence. The search for the man inside the writer is both a personal journey and a joint venture of two in the field: E. and M. in pursuit of K. The story might even be said to unfold as a love note to triangulation.


(Essential Essays)


314 pages |

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A collection of thirty-seven poems, essays, and diary entries that recount Wolff’s attempts to get “closer to the man inside the writer”—Franz Kafka—by travelling to the places he visited and lived ... The word “faithfully” in the book’s title is carefully chosen—like so many of her words—as her research trips veer into pilgrimage ... Maybe Wolff penned this collection simply because she felt the desire to do so, absent any consideration of “why,” which is rather refreshing. Then again, maybe she’s enacting one of Kafka’s own sentiments: Writing is a form of prayer.

Marlo Alexandra Burks, Literary Review of Canada

An homage to Kafka, Faithfully Seeking Franz is a creative melange of genres with varying shapes, tones, moods, and extensive bibliography wherein the author wears her learning lightly... Hagiographic and geographic, Wolff’s itinerary never fails to interest and inform ... Kafkaesque concatenations abound in her thoughtful and thoroughly engaging reconstruction.

Michael Greenstein, The Miramichi Reader

Elana Wolff’s passion unfolds in the most delightful, insightful, unexpected ways. We follow her footsteps and in so doing, not only learn about Kafka, but also begin to understand what the power of art really is. Connection, coincidence, conundrum: all are experiences along the way; and accompanying it all: questions, surprising revelations, satisfying and disappointing conclusions. Such is life itself ... In a world filled with chaos and violence and uncertainty, art matters. How so is such a complex and mysterious condition that it cannot be distilled or confined. Wolff never tries to delimit this mystery, even as she charts borders and boundaries (geographical, physiological, aesthetic, existential).

Sandra Barry, Elizabeth Bishop Blog

[Elana Wolff] is a well-grounded researcher, with wide expertise on Kafka, especially about his biography and parabolic literary world.

Keith Garebian, Humber Literary Review


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About the author

Elana Wolff is the author of seven collections of poetry and a collection of essays on poems. She also has co-authored, with the late Malca Litovitz, a collection of rengas and co-translated, with Menachem Wolff, poems from the Hebrew by Georg Mordechai Langer. Elana’s poems and creative nonfiction pieces have appeared in Canada and internationally and have garnered awards. She has taught English for Academic Purposes at York University in Toronto and at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem and currently lives and works in Thornhill, Ontario. Elana’s collection, Swoon (Guernica Editions, 2020), received the 2020 Canadian Jewish Literary Award for Poetry. Her new book, Faithfully Seeking Franz, a hybrid work, is the fruit of a long and ongoing quest for dead mentor, Prague modernist author Franz Kafka.