May 18th, 2008

wart

He's a trouble-making Czech clerk, and he knows just where you live

I've always kind of thought Franz Kafka was a writer I should like, probably largely because of the weird, dreamlike quality to his work. Also, I'm one-eighth Czech, so there's that as well. I read The Metamorphosis in high school (in English, although a college professor told me I probably could read it in German, because of Kafka's simple writing style), and I found some things about it interesting, but I didn't love it or anything. Having now read a collection of short stories and the unfinished novel The Trial, I think I can say that about his writings in general. The stereotype that I hold of his stuff is that it's about people having to cope with odd situations with little to no basis of knowledge or understanding. The Metamorphosis and The Trial both fit this mold, while most of the short stories I've read really don't (at least not to the same extent). Anyway, having sometimes been in situations where it seemed like I was expected to know something but I really had no clue what it was (albeit always on a much smaller scale than turning into an insect or being put on trial by a secret court), this kind of thing definitely has some appeal to me. It's sort of amusing and frightening at the same time. I'm not always entirely sure what I'm supposed to get out of Kafka's work, but maybe that's kind of the point. I can say, however, that I don't enjoy his stories as much as those of Borges, who often worked in a somewhat similar vein.

Now I think I'm now going to finish with the first volume of Eric Shanower's Age of Bronze, and then maybe some of Andrew Lang's [Insert Color Here] Fairy Books that I got for free from the library where I used to work. Beyond that, I'm not totally sure. I do plan to check out some of things that you readers have recommended, but it's a whole lot easier when I don't have to move beyond my own house to find a book. {g} If there's anything else you think I should read, feel free to let me know.
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