Kafka on Trial

May 13, 2012 at 5:18 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , )

Title: The Trial

Author: Franz Kafka

Publisher: I am reading from a paperback copy from Vintage Books published in 1969

Published in 1937 by Knopf

Length: 341 pages, including post scripts and translator’s notes

I’d like to start by saying I love Kafka, I do, I really do, I think.

I read The Metamorphosis over and over again, wrote a paper on it in high school and two more in college.  I can’t count how many times I’ve read it, I just think its so wonderful.  After reading The Castle and The Trial, however, I’m realizing that Kafka’s greatest skill is in writing the most frustrating scenarios a human being could be plopped into – alienation and bureaucracy.  Whether it becoming a giant bug, living under mysterious and unfair authorities, or dying after a year long quest to discover what crime you have been accused of, Kafka has helplessness down to an art.  I love Kafka!

I love him because his concepts are fascinating.  He is the most wonderful creator of modern day myth that I’ve read.  But I find that while reading his full length novels, I feel a bit as I did when reading Don Quixote – screaming at Cervantes, “I get it! Iget it! I get it already!”  Halfway through Kafka’s The Trial, I groaned wondering when it was all going to stop, knowing that I knew Kafka well enough to know that peace would not be had in the end (at least not the kind brought about by resolution).   I love the exasperation of the short story or novella written to drive these scenarios home.  My heart can’t stand it in a full length novel.  At the end of The Trial, I hate Kafka.

But the story was so good!

Kafka belongs to the world of novellas and short stories.  That is where I love him best.

1 Comment

  1. Impromptu Post on Being Changed | Anakalian Whims said,

    […] my review of The […]

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