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Kafka wrote Das Urteil, his first major work of literature, in a single night in the autumn of 1912. It was for him a breakthrough, and closely connected with it was the awakening of his interest in Jewish culture. This is a general study of Kafka, which explores the literary and historical context of his writings, and links them with his emergent sense of Jewish identity. What is emphasized throughout is Kafka's concern with contemporary society - his distrust of its secular, humanitarian ideals - and his desire for a new kind of community, based on religion.