, Volume 56, Issue 4, pp 405–407 | Cite as

Benjamin Balint, Kafka’s Last Trial. The Case of a Literary Legacy

New York: W. W. Norton, 2018. 279 pp. $26.95. ISBN: 978–132400131-7
  • Jens KruseEmail author

Benjamin Balint, a writer and translator living in Jerusalem, has taken the occasion of a complicated and protracted legal dispute to write a fascinating and engaging book about Franz Kafka, about Max Brod, about the vicissitudes of expulsion and exile, about the fraught dialectic of cultural legacy and national identity.

If we set aside the “Epilogue” of this book for a while and consider only its numbered chapters we are guided through these complicated topics with skill and lucidity. Balint opens and closes his book with chapters named “The Last Appeal” and “The Last Judgment.” In them he describes and analyzes scenes before the Supreme Court of Israel in June and August of 2016:

An eight-year custody battle of sorts was reaching its climax. Earlier stages of the trial -- dense with dilemmas legal, ethical, and political – had been covered in the Israeli and international press as the hearings wound their way through the Tel Aviv Family Court (September 2007 to October 2012) and the...


Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GermanWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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