A Greek theater company’s production depicting Kafka’s year in Berlin reflects back on a time of financial collapse and growing menace that is frighteningly reminiscent of Europe today.
It begins with a society rocked by financial collapse. Anger spills out onto the streets, the extreme left brandishing the hammer and sickle, the resurgent right raging against foreign impurity. Centrist political parties begin catering to thugs, assuming they can make use of their votes and then leave them in a dark political corner. As the economic situation deteriorates, the slightest provocation leads to violent demonstrations in the city’s streets. Some fear that it will drag all of Europe down with it.
But what city is it that we’re talking about?
And speaking of Kafka’s final year in Berlin, a new book by eminent Kafka specialist Josef Čermák sheds a new light on the issues around Kafka’s health and attempt to treat his tuberculosis. For more, see a short summary of the book at the Czech Literature Portal.
And speaking of Josef Čermák, who I’ve previously written about on Readux regarding the supposed never-before-seen manuscripts in boxes in the cat-filled Tel Aviv apartment of Max Brod’s former secretary’s daughter. The Kafka bubble continues to get filled with air, most recently on NPR in an article that has a reference to the mystery of what the boxes contain as being the $1 million dollar question. According to Čermák it should be more like the $1 question, with the only unknown work in the boxes being Max Brod’s never published diaries. Oh well, at least the writer of the article was able to call the court case Kafkaesque (the article also has a great photo of Kafka’s notebooks where he was working on learning Hebrew).
Photos – 1) Berlin electioneering in 1924 2) Iliana Pazarzi, who plays Dora in the play