What do you guys think of Kafka's shorter works, like Meditation and In the Penal Colony? I think the latter is almost as good, if not better than Metamorphosis.
I liked In the Penal Colony as much as The Metamorphosis, maybe even a bit more. It's something you read once and never forget. Just thinking about it now gives me shivers.
All of his finished shorter works are great, but many featured in the Complete Stories anthology are unfinished and it's noticeable. They're not bad at all, just unpolished.
I read everything by Kafka. The shortest stories are sometimes his best. A personal favorite of mine is the Sudden Walk. It's by far his easiest work to relate to and helps you understand Kafka's overall motives. From there on amything he wrote is more of the same, though in a good way. Das Urteil is great and seems to me the maximum lenght Kafka's works should have.
Kafka perfectly captures emotions like mutual inadequacy in Die Abweisung (the...refusal?) or letting go of hopes and dreams in fabor of realistic goals in Wunsch Indianer zu werden (Wish to be an Indian [as in Native, not Curry]). Half of the short works are mediocre, mainly because Kafka never got to sort them out himself. The other half is gold though.
i'm curious to hear your interpretation of the meaning of the officer's death in Penal Colony. I though that he'd somehow sabotaged the machine so that it would destroy itself and kill him in the process, as a sort of symbolic sign of undying devotion to the authoritarian judicial system which he swore by. Although it did state that he had not managed to kick the lever to activate it, so that could suggest that the machine unintentionally broke apart, denying him his 'last wish', I suppose, of experiencing the machine firsthand before it was most likely decommissoned.
such a great story, it contains so much subtext.
I totally agree, but It's hard for one to actually talk about literature when Kafka's dick is in ones mouth. Seriously, there's a shit ton of other brilliant authors out there that are better deserving of /lit/'s time.
it's not hard to talk about literature with kafka's dick in your mouth at all. go right ahead
no reason to not talk about kafka. honestly he isn't as done to death as certain other authors on this board and he's certainly deserving of discussion on his own merits even if you have personally already mined every ounce of depth and experience to be had from his writings
>Stop talking about X! Talk about Y instead!
Why the fuck are 6 year olds on /lit/? If you want to talk about other authors make threads about them instead of mindlessly shitposting.
The Great Wall of China is pretty underrated on here in my opinion. I remember reading some shit Baudrillard had written (yes I know "reading obscurantists" or whatever is frowned upon but that's not the point) and it was basically exactly the same point Kafka was making in Great Wall (IE the "We did it!" tendency found in the oppressed underclasses of nations which helps perpetuate their tireless working for the dominant classes for nothing other than the vain satisfaction of accomplishing some task which, while magnanimous, is ultimately quite valueless, both pragmatically and sentimentally) and thinking "Wow, Kafka really was ahead of his time and wrote better than any of the 'philosophers' which have covered similar ground. The way he portrays the emptiness and exploitative nature of nationalism in that story is heartbreaking in my opinion, its one of those things that, when you get it, its just so depressing that you never want to read it again.
not the person you addressed, but i´d love to give you my interpretation of the officer´s death, wich is pretty close to what you said in the second part of your comment.
The protagonist informs the officer of something that he himself was not able to notice: that he had failed to serve justice.
Hence this failure is a crime in the officers firmly held believe system, his judgement, the words that the machine should write on him are: Sei gerecht! (be just/ be righteous? i don´t know how it was translated)
But the machine breaks while executing the judgement, killing the officer in the process.
Beign spared the torture through the machine, the officer escapes his punishment and ultimately fails to serve the justice of his believe system.
But, as he did not notice his failure to be just/righteous outside his belief system, he (since he dies too quickly) does not notice that he could not even be just/righteous in his own definition justice. So he dies with a smile on his lips.