Blei, Franz

Franz Blei, essayist, playwright and translator, 1871-1942

Blei was noted as a bibliophile, a critic, an editor in chief and publisher, and a fine wit in conversation. He was a friend and collaborator of Franz Kafka. He translated into German works by Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde and Molière among others and also published his own monograph on the paintings of the symbolist Felicien Rops. Blei was also a prolific editor of small-press journals, as the private magazine "Amethyst", which was available by subscription only and were mildly pornographic. The journals featured the artwork of Aubrey Beardsley, texts by Jules Laforgue and also erotic prose from translated texts by Paul Verlaine and classic erotic plays and poems from around the world.