A Summary and Analysis of Franz Kafka’s ‘The Hunter Gracchus’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Modernist literature is often concerned with modernity as a kind of living death, but perhaps no twentieth-century writer offered a more explicit parable of this fact than Franz Kafka in ‘The Hunter Gracchus’. This story, which exists as a brief six-page tale and an even shorter fragment, was among the posthumous papers which Kafka’s friend and literary executor, Max Brod, published after Kafka’s death in 1924. The story was written in the first half of 1917, and published in Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer in 1931.

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A Summary and Analysis of Franz Kafka’s ‘A Report to an Academy’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘A Report to an Academy’ is a short story by Franz Kafka (1883-1924), written in March and April 1917. The story takes the form of a speech delivered by a former ape who has learned to mimic human actions and speech, and who is reporting his life and experiences to a group of academics, hence the title, ‘A Report to an Academy’.

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A Summary and Analysis of Franz Kafka’s ‘An Imperial Message’

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

‘An Imperial Message’ is a short text by Franz Kafka (1883-1924), written in 1919. Too brief to be considered a ‘short story’ in the traditional sense, ‘An Imperial Message’ is usually classified as a parable. The text describes a dying emperor who dispatches a messenger with a message for us, the reader of the text, but the messenger never arrives.

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A Summary and Analysis of Franz Kafka’s The Castle

By Dr Oliver Tearle (Loughborough University)

Although we know Franz Kafka’s novel under the English title The Castle, it’s worth pointing out that we might also make a case for calling it ‘The Lock’: Schloss, in the novel’s original German title, means both ‘castle’ and ‘lock’. Kafka’s The Castle is about both a castle and about deadlock. To unpick (or unlock) this enigmatic text, let’s take a closer look at it, starting with a brief summary of its plot.

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