The Trial

I started reading Franz Kafka's 'The Trial' last night.

I had seen Orson Welles' film version and thought, despite his assertion that it was the best film he had ever made, that it was unfocussed and rather jumbled. Personally, I thought it could be editted to make two separate films. As well, I found that Mr. K. (played by Anthony Perkins) was inconsistent: sometimes afraid, other times defiant, or flippant, or even indifferent.

In reading the notes to the book, I discovered that it was an unfinished manuscript and Kafka had requested that all his works finished and unfinished be burned on his death. Since the book was unfinished the first few publications reordered the chapters to try and make a more sensible and coherent story (Kafka did not number his chapters, he simply named them).

The book starts pretty much the same way the movie did with a rather bizarre arrest sequence. Surreal is probably a better way to describe it, since it is more like a bad dream than blackboots breaking down the door and dragging the accused away to a secret detention centre.

The hardest thing about reading the translation I have is that here are no paragraphs! Everything is just one long paragraph with dialogue and prose jumbled together without any breaks (aside from the punctuation).

Not sure if I will finish the book as there is nothing as yet to hold my interest.

Image nabbed from here.


freckled-one said…
If you get to the end you'll have to let us know if the book continued along the lines of the movie. =o)
Gotta love Kafka...he is so good at descriptions that it's scary. Have you read "The Metamorphosis?" It's incredibly Twighlight-Zone, and I swear I think it's my favorite!
Richard said…
freckled-one: so far it is like the movie (except for the very, very beginning of the film which opens with a man approaching justice and being told to wait).

run around paris: this is the first thing I have read by Kafka and the lack of paragraphs is driving me crazy!
tin-tin said…
sometimes when you've already seen the film, you would get lazy to read the book even if the book is way better. is that ture or is it just me? :)
Richard said…
tin-tin: I can't think of one movie I have seen that was better than the book (unless you count film novelizations - which are usually awful). The book is always better.

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