A Hunger Artist

February 4, 2017 | 4 books mentioned

On August 1st, 1914, Germany declared war on Russia. Also, Franz Kafka went swimming. Moreover, the Metamorphosis author mentioned both events in his diary, writing simply and strangely that “Germany has declared war on Russia — went swimming in the afternoon.” Was this odd phrasing intentional or a sign of the author’s self-absorption? In an article for Open Letters MonthlyRobert Minto reads all three volumes of Reiner Stach’s new biography.

is a staff writer for The Millions. He lives in New York.

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