Franz Blei  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Franz Blei (1871 - 10 July 1942, New York) was an essayist, playwright and translator from Vienna. He was also noted as a bibliophile, a critic, an editor and publisher, and a fine wit in conversation. He was a friend and collaborator of Franz Kafka and publisher of literary journal Hyperion and the private subscription based Amethyst and The Opals.

He was also the man who first published Kafka in 1908 - a series of miniature stories later gathered in his book Meditation.

He was the son of a shoe-maker, and trained as an architect. After spending several years trying to escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, in 1941 he settled in New York.

He translated into German work by Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde and Molière among others and also published his own monograph on the paintings of the symbolist Felicien Rops. He was also a prolific editor of small-press journals.

Kafka said of him: "Franz Blei is much cleverer, and greater, than what he writes." (Janouch, 1971. "Conversations With Kafka").

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Franz Blei" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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