Franz Kafka Archive

Confronting Our Environmental Apocalypse: The Absurd

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In thinking about climate change, we can take a lesson from those masters of the absurd—Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, and Samuel Beckett—to conjure uncanny and grotesque situations that, more than a realistic or scientific view, may come closer to expressing the contradictions that make up our world.

Frontload the Strangeness: On Mark Slouka’s “Dog”

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It seems that every book I’ve read recently has a talking animal in it. A new favorite is Max Porter’s novel, which begins with a protagonist opening the door to find a life-sized crow on his doorstep. The bird picks the man up, cradles him in his wings.

The Words Beneath the Sound: Music Inspired by Literature

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As Virginia Woolf famously observed, the best writing often begins with a rhythmical “wave in the mind,” an inner tempo around which syntax and diction are arranged, a guiding beat of artistic intuition that, when struck upon, makes it nearly impossible to set down the wrong word. Other writers

Literary Boroughs #53: Prague, Czech Republic

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The Literary Boroughs series will explore little-known and well-known literary communities across the country and world and show that while literary culture can exist online without regard to geographic location, it also continues to thrive locally. Posts are by no means exhaustive and we encourage our readers to contribute in the comment section. The

Gatekeepers Part Four-point-Two: in defense of “telling” and sentimental preachiness

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Two winters ago, brand-new to the creative writing community of Madison, Wisconsin, I was at ground zero of the national debate on union rights, caught in a throng of 70,000 protestors marching around the State Capitol, screaming “Whose Streets? Our Streets!,” “This Is What Democracy Looks Like!,” and “It’s