sábado, 3 de enero de 2015

The Complete Stories - Franz Kafka


I think it's a little mistake to judge Kafka considering only "The Metamorphosis". There's a whole different view on things in some of his stories. You're not going to find a nice, warm, fuzzy, Care Bear kind of book (that line made sense in my mind). But some of his stories do show another side of him. I personally like the psychological twisted, complicated, claustrophobic and absurd ones with a weird sense of humor (yes, he can be funny) and infinite interpretations. But that's just me.

I liked most of his stories, a few names come to mind (I don't know why and in no specific order): “A Hunger Artist”, a disturbing yet beautiful story about an alienated artist; “In the Penal Colony”; “Eleven sons” and its poetic descriptions; “A dream” (loved its disquieting atmosphere --is that making sense?); “The Great Wall of China”; “A Report to an Academy” (fresh air); “The Problem of Our Laws” that gives you a feeling of despair, because you find yourself being governed by people (noble people) you'll never meet with their rules that you're not supposed to understand; “A Fratricide” (kind of shocked me); "The Cares of a Family Man", short stories like that leave you thinking about what the heck he was writing about.

Kafka is a complicated writer, that's true. But the difficult ones often help you to see ordinary things from another perspective. And yes, that's not always sunshine and rainbows, but that's the other inevitable side of life. He mostly described awful, absurd, stressful, weird and confusing situations that human beings experience on daily basis. Sadly, I can relate to his labyrinths of endless bureaucracy. A lot.

This writer is not for everyone. And there's nothing wrong with that. In my humble opinion, he was a man who was able to write, among many other things, something like “Before the Law” (a parable that appears in one of my favorites novels); such a familiar feeling. So my connection with him was instantaneous. (It's a shame that mostly happens with people that died a couple or hundreds of years ago. No Lake House around here, huh? God, I hated that movie.) 
Anyway, “Before the Law” is a short and great example of one of the many sides a Kafkaesque universe has.

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