Unlikely Chronicler’s ‘Biographical Essay’ Humanizes Kafka

We were surprised to discover that Louis Begley, consummate chronicler of Waspy things, had written a “biographical essay” on Franz Kafka. (Perhaps we shouldn’t have been: Both men, besides being writers, share a Jewish heritage and worked as lawyers.) But Begley does a fine job of connecting the dots between the life and the work and humanizes Kafka to a degree that his more flattering followers don’t like to. “Don’t you get pleasure out of exaggerating painful things as much as possible?” he once wrote to a friend.

The Tremendous World I Have Inside My Head

Louis Begley

Atlas & Co.

Out now



Unlikely Chronicler’s ‘Biographical Essay’ Humanizes Kafka