Do you find Kafka difficult to understand?

  1. Yes of course. By understanding I meant the full understanding of his intentions and what he wanted to do with the book.

  2. Yes, I don't speak German, so I decided to learn ancient Latin, break into the museum and read Ovid's Metamorphoses instead, which was a lot more manageable than reading Kafka's Metamorphosis

  3. I think it’s more a matter of interpreting and extracting the meaning behind Kafka’s stories and parables. The writing is very plain, which I love, but a lot of his stuff can leave you thinking, “what on Earth did I just read?” The metamorphosis itself is extremely relatable and heartbreaking, so I’d say that’s why it’s is his most popular and widely read story.

  4. With Kafka, you get what you can take from the text. He's one of the easiest prose I've read but also the one I keep coming back to because of the depth and relative complexity of his work. I relate to what you said - I've had many a people tell me Kafka is a hard read, it's hard to digest possibly, but easily chewable.

  5. I’ve read all of his short stories and most of them were easy to understand but a couple were extremely confusing. Unfortunately I can’t remember off the top of my head which ones confused me so. All his famous works are pretty easy to read and interpret though In my opinion. Although lots of people seem to misunderstand what the metamorphosis is trying to say..

  6. DO you actually know and understand the social and cultural context? Because Kafka lived a hundred years ago and in a different country, his social and cultural context is not the same as yours.

  7. Half of my family is german and I read it in the original so I think I do know and understand the social and cultural context. It's also not changed as much as you may think... it's pretty clear that what he criticises is still relevant today

  8. I've only ever really immersed myself in the Trial but it's my favorite book. I wouldn't say it's difficult to understand but the way he uses surrealism to represent what he's criticizing is pretty creative, imo.

  9. I think that's the point of Kafka. You can't quite figure out what he is trying to say with his stories.

  10. I think they're difficult, not to understand, but just intentionally unpleasant to read. The novels especially. The Trial and The Castle are so fucking frustrating, banging your head against a wall demanding explanation or hope or progress but no, you're just stuck in the same nightmarish loop and every lead is just another bureaucratic nightmare...!!!! But that's by design. Kafka isn't fun, lol.

  11. I also thought the Kafkas I've read were straightforward. I suspect the fact I read them in translation helped a bit but most "hard" books, ime, are exaggerated in difficulty.

  12. I wonder whether it depends what language you're reading it in. I've only read any Kafka translated into English, and not as much as I should, but I remember reading somewhere that, in the original German, he had a tendency to write very long sentences that you would expect to end with one verb, and then surprise you with a different verb. In English, much harder to put verbs at the ends of sentences it is. So that's one less syntactic curveball thrown at those of us reading it in English.

  13. I’ve only read the The Trial, and I didn’t find it hard to understand at all, but it definitely made my head explode with thought and ideas, I wrote pages and pages of notes after reading that.. for no reason at all, none of which I can remember now, and I lost the notes years ago

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