“The Kafka is a magnificent and very rarely seen moon-blue mouse, which eats no flesh, but feeds on bitter herbs. It is a bewitching sight, for it has human eyes.” (I decided to give this one eyes specifically of “plaintive Jewish brown,” in the words of yet a third strange Jew, J. D. Salinger.) Franz Blei did not pose for photographs like a writer who wanted to be thought of as whimsical, but I probably wouldn’t either if I’d had to flee the Nazis. I’m happy to say that he made a new home for himself in New York City among an assortment of other strange Jews, and I hope they appreciated that crack about the bitter herbs as much as I do. It’s the only joke specifically about a Jewish vegetarian that I think I’ve ever heard, though I encourage you to record your own in the comments.

As for what that other Franz had to say about Blei, one thing was that “Franz Blei is much cleverer, and greater, than what he writes.” Wow, Frank, been practicing that backhand?