Sanitising Depression

Come on Kafka, you can't have felt altogether that bad, claims yet one more Kafka biography. To add to the literary trivia, seems Kafka met Musil, even though the only biography of Kafka I have—Ernst Pawel's The Nightmare of Reason: A Life of Franz Kafka—only mentions reviews by Musil of his work. I haven't read the Pawel, but as you might guess from the title, it seems to differ somewhat from this new version of his interior life; here is a representative selection from the index.

Kafka, Franz. Birth of; childhood of; exotic heritage of; in conflict with father; rage spawned in; self deprecation by; and sexuality; as hypochondriac; at Zuckmantl Sanatorium; unworldliness of; curiosity of, about other people's lives; in allusions to suicide; recurrent depressions of; physical frailty of; masturbation by; bodily infirmities of; authority mistrusted by; converted to body-building program; as vegetarian; and self-imposed starvation diet; tuberculosis of lungs incurred by; fascination of, for young girls… and so on.

I haven't cropped much, and much more follows. But what do we care about that anyway—novels are so last century.