Kafka's The Trial
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Franz Kafka's novel The Trial.
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Franz Kafka's novel of power and alienation 'The Trial', in which readers follow the protagonist Joseph K into a bizarre, nightmarish world in which he stands accused of an unknown crime; courts of interrogation convene in obscure tenement buildings; and there seems to be no escape from a crushing, oppressive bureaucracy.
Kafka was a German-speaking Jew who lived in the Czech city of Prague, during the turbulent years which followed the First World War. He spent his days working as a lawyer for an insurance company, but by night he wrote stories and novels considered some of the high points of twentieth century literature. His explorations of power and alienation have chimed with existentialists, Marxists, psychoanalysts, postmodernists - and Radio 4 listeners, who suggested this as our topic for listener week on In Our Time.
Elizabeth Boa, Professor Emerita of German at the University of Nottingham
Steve Connor, Grace 2 Professor of English at the University of Cambridge
Ritchie Robertson, Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at the University of Oxford
Producer: Luke Mulhall.
Join in the Q&A
Elizabeth Boa, Ritchie Robertson and Steve Connor will be answering questions in a live Facebook chat here: https://www.facebook.com/BBCRadio4/photos/a.10150094195625459.392943.401538510458/10154825611905459/?type=1. To join in, you don't need a Facebook account, but you do need a question you'd like to ask. It begins at 10 and will continue until approx 10.30.
Listener Week on In Our Time
Links and Further Reading
Mark Anderson, Kafka’s Clothes: Ornament and Aestheticism in the Habsburg fin de siècle (Oxford University Press, 1992)
Harold Bloom (ed.), Franz Kafka’s The Trial (Chelsea House, 1991)
Elizabeth Boa, Kafka: Gender, Class and Race in the Letters and Fictions (Oxford University Press, 1996)
Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature (University of Minnesota Press, 1986)
William Dodd, Kafka’s Prozess (University of Glasgow, 1991)
William Dodd (ed.), Kafka (Longman, 1995)
Franz Kafka, John Williams (trans.) The Essential Kafka (Wordsworth Classics, 2014), which includes The Trial
Franz Kafka, Mike Mitchel (trans.), The Trial (Oxford World Classics, 2009)
Franz Kafka, Letters to Felice, (Penguin, 1978), especially the essay ‘Kafka’s Other Trial’ by Elias Canetti
Eric Marson, Kafka’s ‘Trial’: The Case against Josef K (University of Queensland Press, 1975)
Julian Preece (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Kafka (Cambridge University Press, 2002)
Ritchie Robertson, Kafka: Judaism, Politics and Literature (Clarendon, 1985)
Walter Sokel, Franz Kafka (Columbia University Press, 1966)
John Zilkosky, Kafka’s Travels: Exoticism, Colonialism, and the Traffic of Writing (Palgrave, 2003)
|Interviewed Guest||Elizabeth Boa|
|Interviewed Guest||Steve Connor|
|Interviewed Guest||Ritchie Robertson|