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Read it. If you don't understand it, you aren't thinking.
am 26. August 1999
Many people find The Trial to be baffling and absurd. Well, much of Kafka's writing IS absurd, because he was essentially an existentialist who considered life itself to be more or less devoid of absolute meaning. The Trial, contrary to what some readers think, IS basically allegorical. The protagonist's plight is an allegory of human alienation in the face of the absurdity of existence. Many reviewers on this page (usually high-school students, it seems) probably were hoping for a book with a plot as asinine as a "Friends" episode. Well, this is heavy reading and not for the faint of heart or weak of mind. You can't read Kafka as if it's surface-level, obvious, dumb-dumb writing. The protagonist struggles onward in the face of absurdity because this is what many of us do in real life. He did all he knew how to do, and he was so bound up in the machinery of his life and his bureaucratic nightmare that he couldn't deviate his path to a place of safety. This is a very important book, full of depth and meaning on many levels. Read it and figure out why. (Even if you have to use your brain).