Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir Summary & Study Guide

Anatole Broyard
This Study Guide consists of approximately 22 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Kafka Was the Rage.
This section contains 461 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir Summary & Study Guide Description

Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir by Anatole Broyard.

In his book, "Kafka Was the Rage - A Greenwich Village Memoir," author Anatole Broyard takes the reader back to his early days in the artsy neighborhood that he so idolized and adored. After returning from military service in World War II, the young twenty-three-year old Anatole was anxious to get on with his life. Although born in New Orleans, Anatole's family moved to Brooklyn when he was very young. He spent his formative years in New York and in the late 1940s, Greenwich Village was considered the place to be—it was the closest America would ever come to Paris.

The rather naïve and unsophisticated Anatole met up with an avante-garde artist, Sheri Donatti, early in his search for living quarters in the Village. When he learned that Sheri owns two apartments in her building and needed to rent one out, Anatole felt very fortunate since empty apartments were hard to come by in that neighborhood. His conservative nature and naivete prevented him from asking about their living arrangements when he saw that the apartment that was available was filled with her items. The apartment's kitchen was overpowered by a gigantic printing press—where he would live was his obvious though silent reaction. Only when he moved in and she hung his clothes in her closet was it clear that they would be cohabitating—perhaps the first official seduction via a rental transaction.

Sheri's off-beat personality and personal dogma dominated their relationship. At once, he both resented and adored her. She was elusive emotionally and unpredictable in behavior. He felt he was constantly being tested as though he didn't quite measure up to her mysterious standards. Though the pair had an intimate relationship, he never felt close to her—a state which was obviously her goal. When he finally recognized that she was not what he wanted or needed and left, she attempted various ways to lure him back. But he finally matured past the superficial attraction that she once held for him.

The obsession that he could not overcome, however, was that for the Village which, at the time, was populated with intellectuals or those who wanted to be and by artists, authors and poets or those who aspired to be. Anatole sorely wanted to be part of that scene and after parting with Sheri eventually found his own way there. He rubbed elbows with the elite and the famous and near-famous.

The young Anatole finally found his niche in that elite society but, as he comments, always kept an eye on the real world. He looked back at the poignancy and innocence of uncomplicated relationships during that period while understanding his own lack of depth in the many that proved to be unrewarding.

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This section contains 461 words
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