Vanity Fea

Kafka & Son

Kafka & Son

A comment on Poor Old Kafka, on the vexed relationships between Franz Kafka and his father as portrayed in Kafka's Letter to the Father—"Kafka was left carrying an intolerable burden of guilt and shame about himself: ‘I lost the confidence to do anything,’ he wrote"—

There's a story by Nadine Gordimer (I seem to remember it's in Something Out There), using Kafka's father as a narrator, and answering back to his son's letter. You might enjoy reading that–although Kafka comes out as a rather mawkish, self-pitying, ineffective and half-baked wimp. Which I suppose does justice, in a way, to Kafka's portrait of his father. But it's a good argument for the Other Side of the question. Anyway it's a good addition to the literature on this loaded issue, fathers' and sons' expectations and disappointments.

En el hombre del padre

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