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October 30, 2011

The Trial

Someone rightly said, 'There is a thin line between sanity and insanity'. The beauty of Franz Kafka's novel  (for that matter, his any other work)  is the ease with which he treads the line and takes the reader through an ambiguous mental realm. It was nothing more than just curiosity that prompted me to read his works; having known about his reputation as one of the very best in modern literature, it was high time that I should read any of his works. I started off with his short story, "The Judgement". After reading it, I felt, "Give me a dose of 'ecstasy', give me a pen and paper, I would, at any time, give a better shot.". I just couldn't stop cribbing  at the unquantifiable piece of insanity , I felt it like a holy piece of ****.  But not let down by this, I thought I would read "The Trial". My first impression, "What Kafka can contemplate, well only he can contemplate.". His ability to detail even a trivial human thought with unrivaled surgical precision impressed me beyond words.



The novel starts in the usual Kafkaesque style, the protagonist Josef K comes to know that he has been put under trial. There is no mention anywhere regarding the case or the incident K got involved in  which gave him the 'accused' tag. The whole novel focuses on how K faces the trial and his struggle to prove his innocence. There is no conventional chain of progress or demeanor that any of the characters portrayed exhibits. Its as chaotic as it can ever get. The behavioral patterns exhibited by some of the characters might seem to be out of place, well , 'The Trial" is never meant for a conventional citizen. There is no way you can guess the climax unless you are as imaginative or as eccentric as Kafka (I certainly believe its the former one). But certain parts of the novel would boggle your mind because of the ease with which the author details, what appears to be subtle events and his unparalleled skill to portray it completely in words. The philosophical attire that the novel drapes is twisted, but fantastically conceived and aptly presented. After reading the novel, you never get a feeling of eating up a thriller diet or fatigue of a philosophical torture, but a pleasant feeling of ambiguity that you dont want to clarify, an unexplainable sense of gratitude for the author who have serenely portrayed what your mind wanders through at times, but never knew how to express. Finally your mind would succumb to the fact, "Kafka is a genius".

1 comment:

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