Monday, February 4, 2013

Franz Kafka @ A Taste of Honey

His Life and Work:  Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Kafka strongly influenced genres such as existentialism.

His works, such as "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle), are filled with the themes and archetypes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, and mystical transformations.

Kafka's writing has inspired the term "Kafkaesque", used to describe concepts and situations reminiscent of his work, particularly Der Process and "Die Verwandlung". Examples include instances in which people are overpowered by bureaucracies, often in a surreal, nightmarish milieu which evokes feelings of senselessness, disorientation, and helplessness.

Characters in a Kafkaesque setting often lack a clear course of action to escape the situation. Kafkaesque elements often appear in existential works, but the term has transcended the literary realm to apply to real-life occurrences and situations that are incomprehensibly complex, bizarre, or illogical.

Sarah Egelman, of the School of Communications, Humanities & Social Sciences at CNM, reacquaints us with Franz Kafka in her upcoming class at A Taste of Honey.
Sarah says:
This one hour mini-course will present the life and work of writer Franz Kafka paying particular attention to the German and Czech social climate and the pressure to assimilate into European society even as life became increasingly culturally difficult for Jews.  The literature of Kafka reflects not only his own personal struggles with familial expectations, career satisfaction, romantic relationships, poor health and the passion for creativity but also the tense situation he and other Jews found themselves in in the late 19th and early 20th century. 
Franz Kafka is best known for "The Metamorphosis" but his legacy includes  many other short stories, several compelling novels,and  a collection of parables  as well as posthumously published letters and diaries.  I hope this lecture will inspire people to read (or re-read) the works of Kafka with the ability to understand the context in which he created his groundbreaking work.
If you do not find this topic fascinating - there are 17 other classes to choose from - plus Cantor Ellen Dreskin!

See you at

or at another Abq Jew Palooza! event!

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