Discussion: Kafka (17)

1 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-07 16:38 ID:6wPEbCIt

So, who here has read any of his stories. I've read The Metamorphosis, The judgment, and The trial. I am thinking of moving onto The Castle. I certainly find his style interesting!

2 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-07 23:34 ID:kyT7uHuT

I'm curious.
What is Kafka like and why would you recommend it?

I'd like to explore his work, mostly because I'd like to use the word "Kafkaesque" in daily conversation.

3 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-08 06:37 ID:ZGj9HA1k

You should read the Franz Kafka's Diaries.

An interesting text : Franz Kafka and Libertarian Socialism by
Michael Löwy - http://www.wpunj.edu/newpol/issue23/lowy23.htm

4 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-08 11:37 ID:lZhTiLuB

'In the Penal Settlement' comes to mind as another typical Kafka short story. Unlike most Kafka's novels, America appears to be complete. I enjoyed the Castle, with its mysterious heirarchy of awesome arbitrary authority.

>>2 One key experience from his childhood recorded later in his diaries is of being suddenly hauled from his cot and shoved out on the balcony for crying - not knowing what the hell he'd done wrong, only that he must have done something terrible to deserve such peremptory isolation. I think that hopeless existential angst permeates most if not all Kafka's work.

5 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-08 13:41 ID:4cG+yKWe

The Metamorphosis is really my favorite work of his, until now (he's on the readlist in a few weeks, I have to read his complete works). It is a must-read, at least for all the symbolic it bears.

His style is really intriguing because it gives a sensation of identification, of proximity that is really strong, but in the same time is mixed with some kind of self-loathing (well, maybe that term is a bit strong, but it gets to the point).

6 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-10 18:58 ID:9qrZPfID

OP here
I'd agree with this guy:

>His style is really intriguing because it gives a sensation of identification, of proximity that is really strong, but in the same time is mixed with some kind of self-loathing.

I think his self-loathing comes from the fact he, as a German-speaking Jew in a predominantly Czech Bohemia, never really fitted anywhere and this is reflected in his work, especially in TheMetamorphosis.

7 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-12 04:56 ID:kyT7uHuT

Maybe I'll check out The Metamorphosis, and move on from there if I appreciate it.
Although I might not enjoy it if it turns out to be cover-to-cover misery.

8 Name: Bookworm : 2008-01-12 05:48 ID:Heaven

The only thing of his that I've read is a very short excerpt from some essay on China or something giving a parable (http://www.mala.bc.ca/~johnstoi/kafka/imperialmessage.htm). It's really stunning and I do intend to read more of his work.

9 Name: Bookworm : 2008-02-06 22:15 ID:K8LyDV6D


The Metamorphosis is not a finished story.
If it were finished, I would like it more. But Kafka hurried it at the end.

Recommended reading: his short stories.

As far as describing Kafka, reading him is kind of like going on an adventure and every step you fall through a hole into another land.
It's very unpredictable and doesn't actually have a moral. It's just something to enjoy while you read it.

10 Name: Bookworm : 2008-02-09 02:53 ID:x1kcRdA9

I got disturbed by his short stories. The one about the penal colony, with the execution machine. You know, I read books to avoid how shit and bloody life is. I don't need it rubbed, crystal clear, in my face by some german who's clever with words.

11 Name: Bookworm : 2008-02-09 18:11 ID:AkxY6KtK

Your choice of literature must be severely limited. Most of the great books (excluding sci-fi and fantasy obviously)we have revolve around life and its pitfalls.

12 Name: Bookworm : 2008-02-16 08:45 ID:REZOf9Pj


This is one of the vignettes collected under the title of A Country Doctor. It is also my favorite Kafka story. It really is stunning. If you liked it, I'd recommend finding a short story collection containing all of the A Country Doctor stories; most of them are of comparable greatness.

13 Name: Bookworm : 2008-02-28 14:25 ID:nLZ2+GUU


Books offer different things to different people. some people read great books because they simply must be read. some people read books because they want to look at life differently. some people read books to laugh.

with other media, for example, i like dark films where the villain wins, or more introspective films like solaris or michael clayton, but i also prefer movies where the good guy wins TOTALLY (not partially, where some of the good guys die), and surprisingly i like plain stupid movies so i can just sit back and have a good time.

plus, the number of books in any catagory is simply mind boggling to the point of despair at the thought of knowing there are books out there you'd love to read that you'll never even know about.

14 Name: Bookworm : 2008-03-05 06:23 ID:HiV7mCID

I love Kafka.
His Metamorphosis is great.

The giant beetle must be a burden for its family.
The familiy loves the beetle and the beetle loves the family. But the burden becomes heavier and heavier and finally both want the beetle's death.
The beetle dies by an apple thrown by its sister... both wishing each other's happiness.
Sad end. But this story has some truth.

15 Name: Bookworm : 2008-04-15 07:48 ID:A8fmDNhH

Wasn't it the Father that threw the apple?

Anyway, I read the Metamorphosis, and was in the middle of reading more of his short stories, but I lost the damn book.

I really liked the Metamorphsis, and could really relate to Gregor's states of mind throughout the story.

16 Name: Bookworm : 2008-06-10 11:24 ID:mdrBc7J6

The Trial is his best work. People often descend into a masturbatory pit of pretentiousness when talking about Kafka, but I would place The Trial ahead of The Metamorphosis. The right to exist, and all. It's great reading.

17 Name: Bookworm : 2008-06-11 04:09 ID:bZ9dVZKZ

I've read The Castle and Metamorphosis, and I like The Castle much more. The protagonists of Metamorphosis was a little too altruistic for me to relate to or even like him.

K., the protagonist of The Castle, has a three dimensional personality. He's quick witted, somewhat vain, he is very human. For me K. is one of the most sympathetic characters in the history of literature, and I fully relate to him - he struggles, he fails, he struggles some more, he revels in small victories, he struggles some more.

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