The Trial by Franz Kafka
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I'm sure there are as many ways to describe this novel as there are readers, but for me, I'm struck by how accessible and surrealistic it is.
The novel transforms from a tale of railing against bureaucracy into a quiet dystopian nightmare of shadowy conspiracy. K is awoken to his arrest, is subjected to inane bureaucracy, corruption, incomprehensible justice proceedings, and best of all, NO REASON.
In fact, we never get a reason why he is arrested or the purpose of the trial, but we are subjected to every stage of the nightmare in a way that could be the seven stages of grief or could be explained as a parable of the Self being subsumed by the State. Or perhaps just the natural progression of a natural person being replaced by the illusory. :)
Of course, it could also be read as a religious parable whereas we are never given a clear set of codes or if we are, the number of interpretations make the result absolutely meaningless and in the end, there IS NO RESOLUTION.
Or it could be as the surface intends, that we live in an increasingly complex system designed primarily to stifle and strangle us by the weight of its own importance.
We can read into it morals and promiscuity and even the Fall by Pride, too, but these are just the delicious mores and quagmires that K is subjected to. :)
Imminently readable and still as applicable today as it was back when it was written in 1914 and pubbed after Kafka's death, I am spoiled as a reader to read it for the first time now.
Am I blown away? Am I thrilled and in total love with his writing?
Yes. :) In fact, I'm going to knock this into my top one-hundred list of best novels of all time. :)
I am pretty damn amazed. It also turns out that I'm probably MOST influenced by him as an author even though I've never read him directly. Surrealism is FREAKING AMAZING.
It's the super-grandaddy of everything that makes dark horror, dystopian literature, and magical realism great.
Oh, and I've been told my own novel writing fits the bill. I think I'll own that. Sweet! :)
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