I like to think of myself as a someone who can appreciate good literature.

Kafka is proof, that even though I like to think of myself as an intellectual, I’m not.

I bought The Trial while we were on vacation. I’d been meaning to read him and The Trial sounded intriguing. I thought I’d give it a shot.

Reading The Trial was the most painful experience I’ve had reading a book. It was well written, but it was extremely frustrating.

Here’s the gist:

K. is arrested for a crime, but he’s not told what crime. He is then put through an excruciating bureaucratic mess where the crime nor his innocence or guilt is revealed.

I read commentaries along with the book to understand the symbolism and layers of meaning. Some view it as a metaphor of each person and his helplessness fighting against God, government, or himself.

Maybe it’s that I’m surrounded by an incredible amount of bureaucratic red tape, jumping through hoops, and broken chains of communication in my professional life. I could not stand to read it. It was exhausting as K. continually digs himself deeper into a mess that can’t be untangled. It sucked the soul out of me in the same way that filling out documentation and redundant forms does.

Kafkaesque. I get it now. I’m sure that someone much smarter enjoys reading it. Or maybe that’s the point. It shouldn’t be enjoyable to read.

 

Art Credit:  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_hA8afXystbU/TT7vsBU8QHI/AAAAAAAACX8/v64ui38QtEA/s1600/trial.gif