I don't have a really good reason for not posting in a while, other than the fact that school started and I have therefore been busy preparing for my class and taking part in other beginning-of-the-year activities. Nevertheless, I thought I'd share this short piece grabbed from aldaily which reports on a psychological study performed on subjects who read a short story by Kafka and were then tested on their cognitive abilities. The conclusion is that reading absurdist literature stimulates brain activity.
I liked this quote:
So it appears Viktor Frankl was right: Man is perpetually in search of meaning, and if a Kafkaesque work of literature seems strange on the surface, our brains amp up to dig deeper and discover its underlying design. Which, all things considered, is a hell of a lot better than waking up and discovering you've turned into a giant cockroach.
In fact, Frankl's point is more relevant than the author of the article asserts here: in addition to the theme of absurdity, Kafka's stories are very often about this search for meaning as well. There is a strong connection in Kafka's writings to the idea of myth and its interpretations. For example, in The Trial, it certainly is true that a main theme of the story is the absurd condition of the person and his environment, but don't forget what the entire narrative is centered on: Josef K.'s search for the reason for his arrest! And does he ever discover the "truth"? Well, I won't spoil the story for you. But my main point is this: in Kafka, you have both absurdity of the human condition and the active search for the meaning of that condition. This is just an additional reason why Kafka is so intellectually stimulating to me. And, you can find it in a host of his other works: "The Burrow", "A Hunger Artist", "The Great Wall of China", etc.