Re-Thinking The Trial

Lots of interesting thoughts on The Trial by Frank Kafka at this post of Andrew’s.

This one in particular struck me:

And while The Trial has never, I think, been read in these terms of indomitable human wills, etc., what I do think is the case is that Kafka’s writings have been homogenized (so that the tone of some of the stories is taken to be Kafka’s only tone) and that the product of that homogenization was employed as the necessary complement of the project to restore the human will: reading Kafka supplied the gaze into the abyss which allows the will to know what it’s up against. Kafka, I feel, was drafted into the “crisis of man” discourse just as much as Hemingway or Faulkner, only he wasn’t around to help with his re-interpretation and reformation.

What I’d like to argue is that passage through this reconstruction project has made certain readings of modernist works much more difficult or much less likely and has in fact flattened a great deal of the variety and, I would say, personality out of many modernist writers.

I have to agree. As to why this is, I’m not 100% sure, although my first thought would be that these books are more often discussed than read.

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