Unfolding Franz Kafka : Legacy of Existentialism

We really want to go deep down into the Kafkan world through the discussion. Our discussion will cover ‘The Trial’, ‘The Castle’ and ‘Metamorphosis’.

Traditional ‘mystery’ novel go usually as ‘bottom up’ approach. You have so many possibilities and eventually you come at a single point and discover the ‘truth’. Kafka’s novel/stories go opposite direction(Top down) where you start to unravel a mystery but end up jumping into numerous puzzles and more myseries.

In the Trial, the central  character  one day is convicted of a crime for which he doesnt know anything about, even the other characters exactly dont know why he is convicted. The entire novel goes with the effort of the character to find the real cause. But the mystery is never solved.

In the ‘Castle’, another characetr tries to enter into the castle, but he cannot. He makes numerous assumption about the castle, he settles down to the near of the castle in a village to learn more about…..mystery is still there, more puzzle for him. His desperation ends up with more frustrating puzzles.

In ‘Metamorphosis’ Gregor Samsa, one day finds himself converted into gigantic roach/bug. he tries to communicate with the external world but he cannot.

In all of the scenarios the character finds himself helpless, clueless and entangled with the system whoch he can not get rid of.

There are so far 3/4 explanation of Kafka. The first one, is pretty easier, explains the contemporary ‘totalatarian’ regime in Europe that was about to settle in, that was overwhelming to ordinary people to bear with. The trial is an example to that. In metamorphosis, the character is ‘heavily’ entangled in a society oppressed by overwhelming stress and pressure by the authority. The sales man, Gregor Samsa, was almost living a ‘bug’s life in that system.

The second one based on ‘Extensialism’ ideas of Camus where  being goes continues struggle with his existence and shape his personality and goal. The ’system’ shapes him,force him to live that form of life without his choice. The sales man, Gregor Samsa,as if, converted to a bug for the pressure exherted on him by the system.

I once read that one of Kafka’s close friends (Possibly Max Brod or something)explained Kafka’s writings in terms of ‘religius’ context. Like  the ‘Castle’ is like , meeting with God which is alway mystery. We all spend life searching for God, the way the character searches his quest for castle!!

I believe that Kafka found human as an ‘instrumentaion’ of the Govt, society and belief system. He portrayed the helplessness of the modern human being. The cruel forces of external power is reflected all over the Kafkan world.

However, the blog here is too short for elaboration. If someone elase have wider explanaton, he is most welcome. Each novel/story requires separate blog, honestly.

To put some other twists in Kafkan explanation, Kafka had an overwhelming ‘Father’ and was really struggling at that time for his establishment, to settle down his life with some means.

Once Kafka wrote a ‘Love letter’ to his fiance, I will try to retrieve it later from the Internet. I read it few years ago. That was really interesting where he was story-telling all the ‘negative’ comments about himself. 


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