Sanne Kabalt

Kafkaesque

Sanne Kabalt

Kaf•ka•esque (ˌkɑf kəˈɛsk) 

adj.

1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of the writings of Franz Kafka.
2. marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.

(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) reminiscent of the nightmarish dehumanized world portrayed in the novels of Franz Kafka, the Czech novelist (1883-1924)

Halfway through Franz Kafka’s book The Trial I was very pleased to find out that Eye - Amsterdam’s magnificent film museum - organised a Kafka Week, in which various adaptions of his writings were screened. And so it happened that merely a day after finishing the book I viewed a movie version of The Trial as well as some movies based on Kafka’s short stories or - as is the case with Flat and Josef Kilián - inspired by Kafka’s entire oeuvre and universe. Both the book and these films enthralled me. How excellently his words were translated into these images! Here I combine some Kafkaesque stills with Kafka’s words. 

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'But instead of working he swivelled round in his chair, slowly rearranged several objects on his desk, then, without realising it, let his outstretched arm rest on the desktop and sat motionless with bowed head.

The thought of his trial never left him now. Several times he had considered whether it might not be advisable to prepare a written defence and submit it to the court. His idea was to present a short account of his life, explain, for each event, why he had acted as he did, state whether his course of action was in his present estimation to be approved or condemned, and give his reason for such a judgement.’ 

-Franz Kafka, The Trial

The Trial

1962, directed by Orson Welles

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‘“It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.” “A melancholy conclusion,” said K. “It turns lying into a universal principle.”’

-Franz Kafka, The Trial

Josef Kilián / Postava k podpírání 

1965, directed by Pavel Juráček & Jan Schmidt

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'The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other.' 

-Franz Kafka, The Trial

Flat / Byt  

1968, directed by Jan Svankmajer

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