Kafka's writings are characterised by an extreme sensitivity manifested in absurdity, alienation, and gallows humour, and these two particular collections of short pieces, A Country Doctor (1919) and A Hunger Artist (1924), represent later works in the corpus. Poems & Songs of Love is a translation of the collection Piyyutim ve-Shirei Yedidot by Georg Mordechai Langer, which contains an elegy to Langer's friend and mentor Franz Kafka. Langer and Kafka hailed from the same middle-class, assimilated, Jewish Prague background and shared a mutual interest in Hasidic culture, literature, and Hebrew. This collaborative translation by Elana and Menachem Wolff brings the fascinating work of Langer -- poems as well as an essay on Kafka -- to the English-reading public for the first time, and sheds light on a hitherto unexplored relationship.
Thor Polson has a masters degree in German literature from Middlebury College, and his other writings include Childsong, a novel published by Athena Press of London. Elana Wolff has published seven previous books with Guernica Editions and a selected bilingual collection of poems with Editions du Noroit. Menachem Wolff is a dentist in private practice.