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Lead book review

The wry humour of Franz Kafka

A masterly new translation of his Diaries reminds us that Kafka wasn’t solely the prophet of a century of dehumanisation

1 June 2024

9:00 AM

1 June 2024

9:00 AM

Completely Kafka: A Comic Biography Nicolas Mahler

Pushkin Press, pp.128, 12.99

Selected Stories Franz Kafka, translated by Mark Harman

Belknap Press, pp.352, 24.95

Diaries Franz Kafka, edited and translated by Ross Benjamin

Penguin Classics, pp.670, 24

How do you see Franz Kafka? That is, how do you picture him in your mind’s eye? If you are Nicolas Mahler, the writer and illustrator of a short but engaging graphic biography of the man, you’d see him as a sort of blob of hair and eyebrows on a stick.

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