Regarded as one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, Franz Kafka is best known today as "that guy who wrote a story about some dude turning into a cockroach." Working with themes of alienation, the fantastic made mundane, and parent-child conflict, his works are populated with well meaning characters caught in the crossroads of tragedy, surrealism, and existentialism.
And yet, Kafka himself considered his works funny, supposedly laughing out loud among friends when reading and sharing his work. Indeed, when read in the right mindframe, the ironic circumstances and black comedy of Kafka's nightmarish worlds can and will provoke a chuckle of two, even as events continue spiraling out of control.
Thus, I will be presenting you today with Kafka's Joke Book
, a McSweeny's article written by comic and stand-up comedian John McNamee, who you may know for his work, Pie