How many authors get their own adjective?
Franz Kafka was a German novelist, considered by his contemporaries to be one of the best writers of the 20th Century. In fact, the term "Kafkaesque" is widely known throughout the English language as "something that is horribly complicated for no reason." Sounds intriguing, no?
Kafka was an interesting character: his dying wish was that all of his literary works be burned; it's speculated that he had schizoid personality disorder; he wrote from the middle of his notebooks to the front; and he had a fondness for Yiddish theater. The best part? He wasn't a starving, demented artist like his works might suggest, instead he was a minor clerk in a German insurance firm. His life was startlingly ordinary, considering the nature of his writing.
Kafka's works are dark and twisty and a little overwhelming (psychologically) for beginners. Even so, this book, The Complete Stories, is a great place to start and includes both his short stories and more evolved works.
A short review from a student employee in our General Book Department:
"One of Kafka's shortest stories was a single sentence in one of his notebooks: 'A cage went in search of a bird.' This is a small example of Kafka's ability to evoke the horror that hides within everyday life. These stories are all masterpieces from one of history's most creative minds. Although some are frightening, within each of them is an attempt to find meaning out of the most meaningless discouraging aspects of life. If you've never visited Kafka's universe, this book will give you a great tour."
Not too many writers earn their own adjective, that's saying something.
at 11:40 AM