Kafka’s Last Trial

The Week (US) - - Arts 23 - By Ben­jamin Balint

To fully cap­ture the bat­tle over Franz Kafka’s un­pub­lished pa­pers, Ben­jamin Balint “must tell three sto­ries at once,” said Re­becca Schu­man in Slate .com. Balint’s “riv­et­ing” ac­count uses a lengthy re­cent trial to re­visit how a friend of Kafka’s spir­ited the cache out of 1939 Cze­choslo­vakia and be­queathed it to a woman in Is­rael whose daugh­ter grew old guard­ing it. In this telling, phys­i­cal and le­gal strug­gles “morph into ques­tions of iden­tity, self, and ex­is­ten­tial be­long­ing.” Kafka would have ap­proved.

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