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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #244 - Classics of subversion: Franz Kafka, "The Trial" (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 13 Dec 2014 10:51:34 +0200

Kafka's The Trial is one of the landmarks of twentieth century literature. By its political dimension, its report to the government, the law, the authority and arbitrariness, it also has its place in the "subversion of the Classics." ---- The protagonist of the trial is Joseph K. He has thirty years. He is single, employed by a bank. He lives in a boarding house. One day, he gets up, several men were present in his room. They mean to him being accused, he is put under arrest. Joseph K. tries to find out why he is charged, but the inspector who heads the men refused to tell him. Arrested but paradoxically free, the hero tries to know the reasons that led him to be charged. It will be a waste of the court refuses to tell him why he is judged, nor judge him or even when he is judged. In addition, all persons to whom it is addressed return him it is not the court to inform and further that seek to understand the charges plays heavily against him. All peregrinations of Joseph K. only reinforce this sense of arbitrariness. After a year without warning, as he begins to internalize the same arbitrary, it is brutally executed by the emissaries of the court.

The book is beautifully written, prose, its style, strengthens the feeling of disorientation of the reader against the course of events. Beyond the boat criticism that may have administrative complexities, The Trial led to question the very foundation of power and authority. If it is based on rational arguments, ultimately, has only the arbitrary will of the holder of power, as Kafka shows very well by contradiction. The desperation of the individual against the impersonal monster that is the state with the dissolution of the individual responsibilities of officers of it, is portrayed very vividly. Figuratively and metaphorically, the book exposes the mode of operation of the modern state, known as "right" as if the cries Joseph K., still full of illusions, when he learns that he is stopped. Meditating on time at all safe.

Matthijs (AL Montpellier)

Franz Kafka, The Trial , Gallimmard, "Folio Classics", 1987 384 p., 4.5 euros.
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