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In the Penal Colony

My favourite Kafka story improbably realized as an opera. But since it’s Glass, it’s not that much of a surprise. As is the case these days, things are vulgarized by the obligatory push for “relevance”. Ho-hum!     Franz KafkaIn the Penal ColonyJeff JanisheskioperaPhilip Glassphilosophical literature

Kafka’s Last Trial

Christoph Irmscher reviews the newly published book by Benjamin Balint — Kafka’s Last Trial — that sets out the tortuous fate of Kafka’s literary estate. Benjamin BalintFranz KafkaMax Brodphilosophical literature

Walker Percy Wednesday 162

THE MAN ON THE TRAIN THERE is no such thing, strictly speaking, as a literature of alienation. In the re-presenting of alienation the category is reversed and becomes something entirely different. There is a great deal of difference between an alienated commuter riding a train and this same commuter reading a book about an alienated…

Please don’t forget Rex Warner

It astounds me that even some of the most well-read of people have no sense of who Rex Warner is. My introduction to Rex Warner was via his translation of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War some thirty years ago when I was studying the philosophy of history. Soon after I came to discover Rex Warner as novelist by…

Kafka: The Early Years

Warm review of supposedly definitive biography. His Kafka is, not surprisingly, a complex man, tormented by all the well-documented demons, but also someone who liked to have fun and drink beer, a fan of both movie houses and brothels. Franz Kafkaphilosophical literatureReiner Stach

What makes something “Kafkaesque”?

You can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces — John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces [t]he bewildering mechanisms of power in stories such as The Trial also “point to something much more sinister”—the idea that arcane bureaucracies become self-perpetuating and…

In the Penal Colony

Of all of Kafka’s pieces I’ve always have been of the view that In the Penal Colony was the only one that could be plausibly rendered in film — but as an opera? And with no machine and with an homoerotic spin? The Boston Globe thinks it works. Franz KafkaIn the Penal ColonyPhilip Glassphilosophical literature

Albert Camus

Born on this day — a brief article outlining his life and works. (H/T to Troy Camplin). Albert CamusexistentialismFranz KafkaJean-Paul SartreKierkegaardstalinism