Just finished this. Wasn't really impressed. It didn't feel like a whole lot happened i guess...

Just finished this. Wasn't really impressed. It didn't feel like a whole lot happened i guess. I was interested in the moments in which he contemplated his existence and found a lot of the insight into his condition very well written, but i just don't see why this is the quintessential Kafka.
Tell me why I'm wrong.

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Foucault and Deleuze before Foucault and Deleuze. Read the Trial btw

because it offers a shit ton of symbolism and interpretations. What did you make out of the book OP?

>It didn't feel like a whole lot happened i guess.

This is Kafka all right. Nothing happens and existential angst. Turtles all the way down but also all the way up as well. The context of his life might matter here. Vortices of bureaucratic nightmares engulfed his being but never quite pulled him into the singularity at the center, and in this manner he was constantly stuck in this feeling of inadequacy that came with the inability to actually go from point A to B, or the absolute inertia of time and time again accomplishing things that are truly circular and can never cause change or transformation to him or his surroundings. He spent life as a weak man dreading his father's violence and resentment but also longing for the acceptance from the very person causing him the most harm. Kafka's marvel is precisely that he shows just how boring our suffering is, which makes it all that much worse. There are no cyberpunk dystopias waiting at the end of our shift and no fantastic let-off to our ordinary and miserable inability of connecting to others. In a way I would even claim he anticipated some of the discussion about isolation and atomization that took part in later writers. With all that said, if you don't like his style, don't fret, he didn't even want his shit to be published if I recall, it's mostly postmortem and another big chunk was burned by himself.

Since I see a Kafka thread I will take the opportunity to ask which of his short stories are the better ones. I have had his complete short stories in Vintage paperback.

I don't think this one is his best, but I'd recommend Poseidon first. It's certainly one of my favorites and does a great job of showcasing general Kafka.

Not bad, Poseidon as an ignored buerocrat in a position of his own making. The last time I read such a little piece was Borges' parables. It looks like there are a lot of flash fiction-sized pieces here. I have a feeling he is an author who is best read a little at a time between other reading, like Borges.

OP here

Yes, I've heard this about Kafka before so I suspect a lot went over my head.
I thought it was some sort of exploration of depression/mental illness by using the imagery of a cockroach as something completely inhuman and repulsive, something completely misunderstood by his family. Even the good will of his sister is nothing compared with how unrelatable his situation, she eventually loses the battle and fails to overcome the issue with her sympathy.
Writing this it's funny to me how they occupied such a large apartment (as is mentioned in the end) all dependent on Gregors income. But once Gregor becomes incapacitated they all get jobs. Gregor excuses his father from not working for so long because of his business failure, but this strikes me as overdoing himself in sympathy since it happened so long ago.

I really can't place anything on the significance of the lodgers, something about conforming to a strong leader and how that relates to whatever Gregor represents.

Good input. thank you. The comparison between boredom and suffering is apparent you're right.

you have to read it in german

nien thanks

I have to read this shit for my philosophy of literature class.

Angst is a pretty integral Kafka thing. Deciding to up and die, and having conflict with your family especially.

Kafka’s book Parables and Paradoxes is full of these; it’s fantastic

>i just don't see why this is the quintessential Kafka.
>Tell me why I'm wrong.

you aren't. the castle and the trial are both better than metamorphosis but don't get memed as much cause tehy're unfinished

Trial and Castle aren’t pushed in schools as much, because they are often too long for the curriculum.

Isn't this all derivative of Dostoevsky's Note of the Underground; to be a fly, angst etc. 19th Century man was a neurotic weirdo waiting to be restored by Fascism after the horror of the Revolution and Enlightenment.

The Hunger Artist, The Great Wall of China and The Helmsman are some of the best. In the Penal Colony is overrated

Thanks, I didn't feel like reading the whole volume blindly, rather a small handful of the better rated.

I read The Great Wall Of China after your recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. It reminds me a lot of Borges, with its contradictions, uncertainties and logical stretches/gaps.

I'd be careful about his perspective on his father. I read a lot of his letters and it's really hard to tell where his father's abuse begins and his own self-obsession ends. He was similarly indecisive with the women he wrote to yet kept them hanging on indefinitely.

What kind of abuse are we talking here? Enlighten me please

I somewhat agree with that sentiment. His letters to women are definitely spot on creepy when he says things like "I'm a cage, looking for a bird" and nothing short of self-obsessed. Due to his social standing and the context of his time, I would claim he definitely had a somewhat harsh treatment from his father, but will concede that it might definitely be Kafka's own mind reflecting upon this abuse and turning it extreme.

Was it kafkaesque?

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I knew The Trial got released postmortem but I didn't realize it was unfinished. It's fantastic.

Him turning into an insect is just a symbol for depression.

It was a symbol for Metamorphosis

Alright Veeky Forums need recommendations for Kafka. I work in a bar and week nights can be slow. I just finished up Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and enjoyed the almost surrealist story line. I've read metamorphosis back a few years ago and remember enjoying it. I'm downloading a Kafka selected works book for tonight and need Kafka recommendations to read tonight.

short stories in between

Amerika first, Castle should be read last

kafka doesnt work unless u read it in german. he wrote a lot of puns and dark humor that you miss in the translations, because it's word play, sexual ineundo.

if he was alive today he would be posting vore on /d/, dude was a creeper. just avoid his work desu.