Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Trial by Franz Kafka

This must be one of those novels more famous for its writer than its content.
Franz Kafka hasn't written many novels in his time and never published one during his own life. Only after his demise upon having to destroy the novels, a friend of Kafka decided to publish the novels.

This isn't as straightforward as it seems.
The novels weren't nearly finished and in case of The Trial some chapters haven't been finished and suddenly stop. Also it isn't certain the different chapters have been put in the right order. Luckily I've read about this after I finished it, because despite it not being entirely what Franz Kafka would've wanted, it created a dreamlike atmosphere.

Which brings me flawlessly to my next point..
Of having written so little and so incomplete, its a wonder his name is now used as a means to describe nightmarish and ominous situations. Kafkaesque.

Luckily his novels aren't easily put aside.
I've read many classics which I didn't like, all for different reasons, but The Trial is one I definitely liked.

Don't get me wrong, it took me quite some time to finish it. This isn't a novel you can breeze through, it's seriously heavy shit and there were times I was wondering if I hadn't a little masochistic side I hadn't discovered until then.

The mood of the book is truly horrifying. Just think about being arrested without knowing the reason why and having to try and convince an utterly unhospitable court of your innocence which is, at multiple times, told to be impossible.
This has to be the scene of the most unnerving nightmare I can think of, and some scenes from the book makes me believe it has to be a nightmare. This can also seem like that because for all we know this novel was far from complete, but it makes for a true gem in early 20th century literature.

But as far as introductions go.. I can't think of a better way to describe this book as in 2 quotes taken from it..

Try it, I mean it. It's like it's got a way of its own getting into your head and it will leave you satisfied you've read something very significant, although it might take a while for you to realize this.