Rachel Cooke

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A giant inflatable Jitterbug, which like Kafka’s Gregor Samsa is half man, half insect, will be appearing in Oxford’s University Parks to mark the centenary of the writer’s death on 3 June 2024. Photograph: Kafka2024

Tomorrow, it will be 100 years since the writer Franz Kafka died in a sanatorium near Vienna from tuberculosis – and the good news is that as major literary anniversaries go, this one is easy to mark. You could, for instance, simply read him: a short story, perhaps, or a few pages of Ross Benjamin’s new, uncensored translation of his diaries. If you’re in Oxford, where his papers are in the Bodleian Library, you can see a new exhibition about him, and gawp at his sputum jar and a syringe of the type with which those treating him used to inject cocaine directly into his larynx; you might also wander in the city’s University Parks, where a giant inflatable “Jitterbug” – like Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis, it is half man and half insect – has appeared, as if from outer space.…  Seguir leyendo »