Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

“Investigations of a Dog” - A Short Story by Franz Kafka - 1922 - translated by Michael Hoffman - 2016

German Literature Month, November, 2017 on The Reading Life

  1. “You’d Have Larvae Too” by Nora Wagener, 2016
  2. Vertigo by W. G. Sebald, 1990
  3. The Last Weynfeldt by Martin Suter, 2006
  4. “An Earthquake in Chile” by Heinrich Von Kleist, 1809
  5. Who is Martha? by Marjana Gaponenko, 2012
  6. “The Legal Haziness of Marriage” by Olga Grjasnowa, 2015
  7. “Aladdin, COB” by Isabelle Lehn, 2015
  8. “The Last Bell” by Johannes Urzidil, 1968
  9. The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald, 1995
  10. Late Fame by Arthur Schnitzler, written 1892, published 2016
  11. Blood Brothers by Ernst Haffner, 1933
  12. Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin, 1929
  13. Confessions of a Murderer by Joseph Roth, 1936
  14.   “Compulsion” by Stefan Zweig,  1929
  15. “Borderlands”by Johannes Urzidil, 1956 (no post)
  16. “A School Boy’s Diary” by Robert Walser, 1910 (no post
  17. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald, 2001, Second Reading 
  18. “The Duchess of Albanera” by Johannes Urzidil, 1965

  1. Gigli by Irmgard Keun, 1931
  2. Gay Berlin -Birth of a Modern Identity by Robert Beachy, 2014 *
  3. “Ernst in Civilian Clothes” by Mavis Gallant, 1963 *
  4. “Germans at Meat” by Katherine Mansfield, 1908 *
  5. Casanova’s Homecoming by Arthur Schnitzler, 1918
  6. “Investigations of a Dog” by Franz Kafka, 1922

Items with an * are my English language supplements to German Literature Month

This will be our last post for this year’s German Literature Month, other than the closing post.  I first read Kafka about fifty years ago.  I read his short story “The Hunger Artist”, I can partially recall the plot.  This was, I am pretty sure, the first piece of translated into English German fiction I had yet read.  I have since I began The Reading Life read or reread most of his major works.  I was delighted to be recently given a collection of  Kafka short stories, new translated by the multi-award winning Michael Hoffmsn containing lots of new to me works.  

“Investigations of a Dog”, the title story of the collection was a lot of fun.  I do think many people almost take Kafka’s work  too much as an obscure to all but a tiny elite master text.  People allow themselves to be intimidated.  Much of his work is funny and can be enjoyed by anyone with an open mind.  In this story, a long interior monologue by a middle aged smaller than average dog, we are treated to interesting observations on science, religion, government, relationships and much more as the Dog tries to figure out the meaning of life.  Of course food is at the  center  of his life. Everything is very convincingly done from the dog’s point of view.  There are deep levels of meaning in the  story, I think, a commentary on Society but it can be read just for the fun of accepting a dog’s thinking.

Euphemia B. Rodsengraz
The Reading Life 


Mudpuddle said...

reading K is like being suspended in space; one is almost forced to exist in the present word, speculation being so frequently unapplicable... i think i read this particular story once; i like K in general, although he can be confusing...

Buried In Print said...

I'm one of those readers who tends to think of his work as being inaccessible, even though I did read some of it when I was a student. This story, however, sounds like a delight. I'm particularly intrigued by the description of the dog's size; that detail seems as though it would be quite pertinent!

Suko said...

This does sound like an intriguing tale (especially for dog lovers). I have read some Kafka but I am not familiar with this story.

Deepika Ramesh said...

The short story sounds like something I would enjoy a lot. I have bookmarked a lot of short stories from 'The Reading Life'. I must get to them soon. Thank you for this post. :)

Mel u said...

Mudpuddle, an asute comment as always. Thanks so much for your insights

Mel u said...

Buried in Print. Kafka is really pretty accessible. I think he maybe one of those writers teaches scare readers away from. Thanks as always for your comment

Mel u said...

Suko, this is a fun story. The Dog is really believsble. Thanks as always for your comment

Mel u said...

Deepika Ramesh. This is a story perfect for anyone close to their Dog.

Carole said...

Thanks for the reminder. Cheers