Just like many other readers and writers, I’m fascinated by Franz Kafka. And once again just like many other readers and writers, I’m fascinated by both his writing and the man himself. In fact, it’s quite easy to imagine that he was the only one who could have written it – Kafka’s writing, while undoubtedly influenced by the literature that preceded it and that of its times, feels like it belongs to its own distinct genre: Kafkaesque. The dour and sickly Kafka, repeatedly unlucky in love and relatively unsuccessful as a writer, seems almost to have been fated to create such dark, labyrinthine, dehumanised and bureaucratic nightmares. And the fact that he achieved a wide-ranging influence after his death – to such a degree that his name has become an adjective understandable to the general public, even those who haven’t read anything he wrote – seems in and of itself a particularly Kafkaesque twist.
And so, as I was saying, I’m fascinated by him, to such a degree that I recently wrote an article about his influence on science fiction. Well, that article has just been published in the most recent issue of Aurealis, and you can find it here.