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Kafka’s metamorphosis

Before man-sized insects and ghastly bureaucratic punishments, he had rather different plans for his writing

By Tim Martin   January 2017

Kafka: The Early Years, Volume Three by Reiner Stach, translated by Shelley Frisch, Princeton, £24.95 

Is that Kafka? 99 Finds by Reiner Stach, translated by Kurt Beals, WW Norton, £19.99

In the summer of 1911, on holiday in Switzerland, Franz Kafka was working on a string of bestsellers. With his friend Max Brod, the 28-year-old writer devised the plan for a quintessentially modern set of books, which could be “translated into every language,” would “energise the…

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