If Kafka were cooking dinner, would you stick around? Or would you just roll your eyes at yet another celebrity-turned-chef?
You may have reason to question the scenario. Kafka is synonymous with that widespread modern ailment: alienation. His non-culinary creations practically embody the condition. (Think Samsa.)
So, is there a possible cure for it? Love (food helps, too) may well have been touted as the antidote, yet this reader has found scant evidence in Kafka's words. Or even his actions. (By most accounts, he was an impossible lover.)
Yet, this hasn't stopped two Kafka-obsessed contemporary writers, Haruki Murakami and Lydia Davis, from injecting some love potion to discombobulating effect into two Kafka-inspired scenarios.
In "Samsa in Love" Murakami gives us a metamorphosis reversal: Gregor Samsa wakes up as a man, instead of a cockroach. But this has its share of unexpected challenges. While Davis imagines Kafka himself trying to cook for one of his real-life lovers, Milena. Kafkaesque humor ensues.
You can find the two stories here: