Kafka as muse

The fine arts course I’m teaching at Shimer is based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which has inspired countless works of music and visual art. It strikes me that if any more recent figure has the potential to serve as such a productive basis for art, it has to be Kafka. The Trial cries out for operatic treatment. A ballet of “Josephine the Singer” would be inspired. Imagine what visual artists could do with Odradek!

What do you think, readers?

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4 Responses to “Kafka as muse”

  1. E S Says:

    There’s a Philip Glass mini opera of In the Penal Colony. Also, the Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag has a piece called Kafka-Fragmente that I think takes its text from his diaries. Both well worth listening to.

  2. ben Says:

    The Glass In the Penal Colony is really good. I assume Adam is familiar with the Orson Welles film adaptation of The Trial.

  3. Adam Kotsko Says:

    I have even gone so far as to use Welles’ film in a course.

  4. Hugh Thomas Says:

    As co-creator of a book of combined text and visual art, which takes Kafka as a muse, I guess I must agree with you (whether or not I even think I do).

    The book is called Franzlations, and can be found on Amazon. An essay about it, which includes some pages from the book, can be found here: http://schlemielintheory.com/2013/10/23/a-note-on-franzlations-the-imaginary-kafka-parables/ Much other Kafka-related material can also be found there.


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