Kafka: The Trial

From: Arlinda S.
Sent on: Sunday, October 25, 2009 12:41 PM
When: November 15,[masked]:00 PM

Where (Note the new venue!):
Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617)[masked]

Price: $2.25 per person

RSVP limit: 20 "Yes" and "Maybe" RSVPs


"Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested."

This is the arresting first sentence of "The Trial". What ensues is a terrifying psychological trip into the life of Josef K., an ordinary man who finds himself accused of a crime he did not commit, a crime whose nature is never revealed to him. Is the novel a dystopian nightmare, a parable or rather an absurdist comedy? All three, perhaps? Kafkaesque, wouldn't you say? Indeed, such was the quality of the work of this terminally alienated master narrator of the subconscious that it demanded a new descriptor.

The story of "The Trial"'s publication is almost as fascinating as the novel itself. Kafka intended it to be burned, along with the rest of his diaries and manuscripts, after his death in 1924. Yet his friend Max Brod pressed forward to prepare "The Trial" and the rest of his papers for publication. When the Nazis came to power, publication of Jewish writers such as Kafka was forbidden; Kafka's writings did not find a broad audience until after World War II. Ironically, although "during his lifetime he could not make a decent living, [Kafka] will now keep generations of intellectuals both gainfully employed and well-fed."*

As always, you will be faced with various translation choices. I've heard great things about Breon Mitchell's version and look forward to hear your opinions on this point.

Happy reading!

Arlinda


*Hannah Arendt quote

If the changes affect your plans to attend, please take a moment to update your RSVP. (You can RSVP "No" or "Maybe" as well as "Yes".)

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