Saturday, June 25, 2016

Kafkaesque - more than an unnecessarily frustrating experience

In comics this season, we studied the graphic adaption of Kafka's Metamorphosis by Peter Kuper. In the story, a salesman wakes up and finds he has turned into a bug - seems the perfect premise for a graphic novel.

Kafka's novellas led to the creation of the adjective Kafkaesque which according to Mirriam means something "having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality, such as Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays" (we've all had those). The hoops one has to jump through are often so twisted and frustrating that success is pointless.

Kafka's many short stories have strange illogical, usually bureaucratic, twists that are worth reading. They reflect the disconnect in industrialized societies, the alienation that comes when life is reduced to working for faceless bureaucracies and corporations and being subjected to the rules and laws of the same. One strange twist in Kafka's Metamorphosis is that when Gregor discovers he's turned into a bug he worries incessantly about how he is going to get to work instead of what happened to his body.

Have you read other Kafka stories? If so, how do they relate to today's world? If you haven't, have you been trapped in a DMV line? Stuck in a mound of red tape or bureaucratic paperwork? Have you lived a Kafkaesque story?

1 comment:

  1. Regarding to kafka's short novellasn and stories I have not valued the feeling of his work. Even though I have not seen or herd of his work I have been trapped in the DMV line in my past life. How that happen was when I started to work for the first time right after high school. Due to the fact that I graduated; made me realize that I will have to be studying many more years and then work all my life when I thought about it. Now that I have realized that; I believe I know the feeling of Kafka's work about society working hard for no reason, basically to survive. Right now at the moment I am working on studying to get my degree and then working to get money. That is the meaning of life.