Here are links to two new reviews about a book that shows the other side of Kranz Kafka, where he participates in life with joy and excitement.

Is that Kafka? 99 Finds by Reiner Stach detail 99 facts about Kafka that he discovered in writing his three volume biography about him. They show that Kafka had his ordinary life ways, and a whimsy of more gentle proportions than much of his creative output.

What Color Were Kafka’s Eyes by Avi Steinberg in The New Yorker is detailed and entertaining. And in answer to his query, from the number of different sources answering this question, I’ll stick to Kafka’s passport description: “dark blue-grey”.


99 Ways Of Looking At Kafka by Jeffrey Zuckerman in The New Republic is a well-rounded description of the book, examining one or two excerpts in detail. And I appreciate the illustrations.


All things Kafka fascinate me, and though there might not be much new for one who has written a book about Kafka, I am still looking forward to reading this book.

Here is one of the “missing” diary entries I constructed for my Kafka In The Castle.



01 January 1917

              There was a cloud caught in

the branches of a tree today, outside my

parents home. Or so it appeared. I got up

from the cot and went to tell Ottla, but

she was clearing the kitchen, tending to

the dishes. So I was radical, unthinking –

driven by haste – and told the only one

not consumed by labour. I told my father.

“In the trees?” he asked. I propelled him

from his chair, thrusting the papers

aside. He followed me, and I could see the

surprise on his face. “Where?” he asked;

and I pointed out the window. “But I see

nothing.”  “Oh, you have to lie on the

cot.”  “On the cot?”  “And with your head

just so.” I pushed him onto it, and he

lay, looking sideways. “But you are

right,” he said. I thought because of the

holiday he might be humouring me, but then

I saw that his jaw hung open, and his face

was astonished. Does the boy never grow,

that he can feel so good to be vindicated

by his father?