Now remembered primarily as Franz Kafta's friend and literary executor, Max Brod was an accomplishered thinker and writer in his own right. In this volume, he considers the nature and differences between Judaism and Christianity, addressing some of the most perplexing questions at the heart of human existence.
“One of the most famous and widely discussed books of the 1920’s, Max Brod’s Paganism—Christianity—Judaism, has at last found its way into English translation to confront a new generation of readers. Max Brod is best remembered today as the literary editor and friend of Franz Kafka. In his day, however, he was the more famous of the two by far. A major novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and composer, he was also, as this book demonstrates, a serious thinker on the perennial questions that are at the heart of human existence. . . .Some of his judgments are open to question. Still, with all its limitations, this is a forthright and passionate proclamation of the uniqueness of Judaism. Paganism—Christianity—Judaism was an intellectual and spiritual event when it was first published and it remains a valuable document even now.” —Rabbi Jack Riemer, Hadassah
Though best known for his editing and posthumous publication of his friend Franz Kafka's writing, Max Brod was a major novelist in his own right. Tycho Brahe's Path to God, widely considered his finest work and viewed by many as a small masterpiece, concerns the relationship between the great Danish astronomer and the younger, intellectually superior Johannes Kepler. Brod's representation of this complicated relation grew out of his acquaintance with the young Albert Einstein, reproduces his struggles with the Expressionist poet Franz Werfel, and strangely anticipates the most famous act Brod would ever perform: publishing Kafka's writings without his permission. As Brahe attempts to create a diplomatic compromise between the old Ptolemaic system of planetary motion and its modern, Copernican revision, Kepler discards the principle of compromise root and branch. Their conflict thus becomes an emblem of the struggle between a weakened tradition and a self-conscious modernity. The novel manages to convey the intimate, emotional reality of a seventeenth-century political conflict as well as the psychological, political, and artistic turmoil of Brod's own time. This revival of the richly allusive and deeply resonant Tycho Brahe's Path to God is a true literary event.