Continued Reading: Kafka: The Decisive Years

English: A picture taken on June 27, 2008 in P...

English: A picture taken on June 27, 2008 in Prague, Czech Republic of the former house of Franz Kafka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am around page 120 of this detailed biography of Franz Kafka by Reiner Stach and am amazed with the insecurity and indecisiveness of Franz Kafka. Even though I read the third volume first, (don’t ask me why), Kafka: The Years Of Insight, I am glad I did it so I could see how Kafka changed until his premature death. His insecurity, especially with his writing and his relationships (especially with women) has really been eye-opening especially in reading about someone that is perceived as a genius. I honestly picked these books about Kafka up to understand the phrase ‘Kafkaesque’. I had no idea what that meant but on page 115 I read part of this paragraph which gave me a better understanding:

“Suddenly—without guide or precedent, it seemed—the Kafka cosmos was at hand, fully equipped with the ‘Kafkaesque’ inventory that now gives his work its distinctive character: the father figure who is both overpowering and dirty, the hollow rationality of the narrator, the juridical structures imposed on life, the dream logic of the plot, and last but not least, the flow of the story perpetually at odds with the hopes and expectations of the hero.”

I am truly enjoying studying about someone with the genius of Kafka but even more intriguing is how Stach explores his faults and shortcomings. This is the beauty of these two volumes.

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2 thoughts on “Continued Reading: Kafka: The Decisive Years

  1. Pingback: George Steiner: “In Bluebeard’s CastleSome Notes Towards the Redefinition of Culture” 1971 / 2. A Season in Hell Yale University Press © George Steiner 1971 « How my heart speaks

  2. Pingback: In Bluebeard’s castle | How my heart speaks

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