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Franz Kafka (2 Viewers)


Senior Member
He didn't have much fun, either.

Discuss Das Schloss, Das Urteil, Der Prozess, The Metamorphosis, the man and his works.

Favorite pieces, likely in order of personal preference:

The Metamorphosis
His shorter stories and parables (philosophical flash fiction at its finest).
The Trial
The Castle
The Judgment

And if anyone has copies of the Blue Octavo Notebooks or any of his stuff in Deutsch, message me and we can make a trade or something.

A few sites for those Kafka-holics lurking:

The Kafka Project: http://www.kafka.org

The Kafka Society of America: http://www.kafkasocietyofamerica.org/

Franz Kafka on the Web (links): http://www.pitt.edu/~kafka/links.html


Senior Member
Ugh I fucking despise people who adapt works of others. I wonder if anyone owns the rights to Kafka's writing, because he begged and pleaded to ensure that Gregor's condition was never to be depicted. What a disgrace. I've actually seen the book, too.

R, the Trial's a nice piece of work, unfinished in a sense but it has a conclusive ending. I started with the Metamorphosis, then hit up the Trial afterwards, but I remember liking it a lot. Check it out and let us all know what you think!

Beatrice Boyle

Senior Member
Hi Strangedaze, thanks for coming aboard the Classics forum with this thread. Kafka is an aquired taste I'm afraid...all doom and gloom as far as I am concerned. :? But having said that, I do concur he was a brilliant writer...a tortured soul I believe, but nevertheless...brilliant!

I have never been able to immerse myself in his books...too draining for me, so I will not get into this discussion. Hopefully, there will be others that are eager to!


You don't need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Don't even listen, simply wait.
Don't even wait.
The world will freely offer itself to you.
To be unmasked, it has no choice.
It will roll in ecstacy at your feet.
  • [list:53f71d8fa1][list:53f71d8fa1][list:53f71d8fa1]Kafka
[/list:u:53f71d8fa1][/list:u:53f71d8fa1][/list:u:53f71d8fa1]One of my favourite poems, though I know neither its title nor where it was originally published (any info appreciated). Besides the above, my only experiences with Kafka have been Metamorphosis and The Trial, both of which I found to be utterly superlative. Inspirational, even.


Senior Member
This thread is reminding me that I have not yet finished 'Metamorphosis and Other Short Stories'.

I prefer Kafka for short stories. For me his abstract style is too wearing for the novel. Still I might give the Castle another try or perhaps The Trial.

Thanks Strangedaze for the intresting links. The depiction of Samsor against Kafkas wishes is annoying. In fact, I have read that it shouldn't be supposed that the transformation was simply a literal physical one.


Senior Member
I love Kafka. I even have a quote from him in my signature.

Although I somewhat agree with Cipher... his style appeals to me more in smaller doses.


Senior Member
On that note, allow me to wholeheartedly recommend Schocken's collection of all of his shorter writings. Some personal favorites, some short enough to be called flash or microfiction, include 'The Bridge', 'The Vulture', and 'The Hunger Artist.' The edition I have, the latest released, if I'm not mistaken, has a jet black cover with a triptych of a yellow calligraphy-type pen on it. Well worth the twenty some dollars I paid for it.

To me, Kafka seems to be the kind of writer who had bursts of brilliance interspersed with spells of extreme (existential?) angst, so it makes sense that some of his most profound writings came in the form of shorter pieces. Sometimes I wonder if his tuberculosis was somehow self-inflicted...the mind can do crazy crazy things.

As of yet, the only pieces I have yet to purchase in English are his letter to poppa Hermann and his Blue Octavo Notebooks. I hope to add them to my collection soon, as well as some more German editions.

Fuck I love Franz. I'd have his babies, but first, he's dead, second, I'm a guy, third, some speculate that poor Franzy was impotent, while others think his were works depicting the subtleties of homoerotic love. Buh?!



Senior Member
I haven't read any kafka books yet but I did by "The metamorphosis and other short stories" which I'll be reading very soon, because I've heard from many that the metamorphosis is a very good story.


Senior Member
Very good, Alex, very good. Of his longer works, that and The Trial are probably the best, but his shorter fiction is surprisingly at home with the flash and micro fiction of nowadays. Happy reading - if you have any questions, want to chat about Franz, or anything, lemme know. I'm going to have Franz's angst-ridden babies. And yes. I am that geeky.



Senior Member
I've only read The Metamorphosis, but I wrote my final literary study paper on it.

Kafka actually asked of a close friend, on his deathbed no less, that all his unpublished writings be burned. Fortunately for us, his friend decided not to.

He's dark, he's pessimistic, he's depressing—but most of all, he's realistic.


Senior Member
kafka's diary

I am currently reading The Trial, and the edition of the book i purchased happens to have excerpts of Kafka's diary at the back, which is most heart wrenching yet inspiring to read if you are a writer... by knowing that a great such as kafka is, has suffered terribly with his writing in fits and bursts and feeling radically up and down from day to day... this gives me hope , although i feel compassion for his state of mental tension and paranoia about his health. but perhaps, this constant instability is what feeds a story.


Senior Member
Blade - I have a copy of Das Urteil, but I've only been able to (roughly) translate one of the pieces. I've read it all in english, though, but as my studies in German continue I hope to be able to read all of his work.

Hodge - Yeah, but I have a sneaking suspicion that Franzy knew Max wouldn't burn his things. I think Brod even told Franz on numerous occasions that he wasn't down with destroying all of his stuff. But Kafka also instructed Dora Dymant, his female partner at the time, to burn some of his works. Makes me wonder what sort of Kafkaesque tomfoolery bit the dust, as it were.

jipsi - The Trial is wonderful, like his diaries. His external life was so mundane compared to the explosive one he lived in his mind. He's the epitome of a tortured writer and I think that his work fed him more than his life fed it. Let me know what you think of The Trial.


Senior Member
One morning Gregor samsa awoke a hideous vermin.

Ooooh, I love Kafka.

Fucking apple, fucking microchosms, fucking allegories.


Senior Member
It really irritates me how ambiguous Gregor's size is throughout the whole thing... He's apparently large enough to frighten everyone and not fit through the door unless both sides are open, yet he's small enough to hide under the sofa.

Tough enough to survive a fall onto his back from the ceiling, yet fragile enough to receive a major wound from an apple flung fast.

Such a depressing book... I like it.


Senior Member
Yeah it's ambiguous...no...it' allegory...it's metaphor...

...or maybe he just couldn't be bothered..


maybe not.

Reminds me that I have his complete novels sitting unread on the shelf.


Senior Member
start with the trial, cipher, you won't be dissapointed, but only touch amerika if franzy gives you a hard-on, or appropriate female equivalent.