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◌  “The First Long Train Journey”

25 October 2009

One of most interesting things I read this summer was The First Long Train Journey, by Kafka and Max Brod, hiding in the back of a Kafka collection. It’s the first chapter of an abandoned novel in which characters closely resembling the two of them take turns narrating a travelogue. It’s written straight – apparently it was meant partly as a response to silly exoticism in travelogues – but as they describe one another’s ideas and argue about people and scenes, it’s lively and absorbing and unlike anything else I’ve ever read.