Franz Kafka’s short stories are always amazing to read. There is no doubt about it that Kafka’s influence on English Literature (with the help of translations) can ever be reduced. Much is not known about his life and habits but the least we know, we can be sure that the gentleman was more a man of words than sentences (most powerful). Longer short stories or writings might be well but the shorter short stories of Franz Kafka were always more powerful and more impactful than anything else he wrote. This Sunday, I thought to read his short stories and pulled out the classic edition from my medium-height book shelve. And then, the excursion began.
After reading a few of his short stories, one can easily believe that this short-lived man was truly an enigmatic personality attempting his visions (or hallucinations) to be transformed into literary output. Some of those, luckily, got transformed and then only we can enjoy Kafka on a drizzling Sunday evening.
An Old Manuscript is one of Kafka’s most absurd short stories and should be avoided by those who wish to read something with some hint of adventure, spice or even material to be read. That is a random short story with hint on something else and attention on something other. Likewise, the popular short story by him, A Common Confusion, is also of the same magnitude. He writes with a subtle mind – transported into a different zone and hence his readers, strangely, are teleported from here to there in no time!
The popular ones like The Metamorphosis and The Great Wall of China are a little longer and have many things that the readers would need to remember to have a comprehension of the stories.
Pitting Kafka against the classic authors like Chekhov and Dostoevsky will render a very cruel result for us. We cannot miss the ‘confusion’ of Kafka and we cannot miss the ‘class’ and ‘elegance’ of the other two… So, it’s more like a common confusion for the readers whether to read Franz Kafka or not and at last, we are taken into the illusion of Franzy…
You will certainly ‘enjoy’ reading this enigma only if you pay careful attention to his details and his imagination. Otherwise, you will have nothing but the dust at the end… all the best!
Get a classic edition of Kafka’s short stories: click here to buy from Amazon (India)
Review by Sanju for BooksToRead