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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5289
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:44 am 
 

Kafka's works are of a sort that I find interesting and inspiring to read. The situations with which K. has to deal in the novells are fascinating and above the ordinary plainness of literature. There was one other whose works I once found mentioned in respect to Kafka's works and his name is José Saramago; of whom I have recently completed the book "Todos os Nomes" (All the names); a very good book, there is no doubt about that, which is recommended.

I would search for writers in vein of the two aforementioned ones. Works of the first half of the 20th century I do prefer over those from the second half of it.

Thanks in advance.
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Qwerr
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:43 am
Posts: 87
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:21 am 
 

I suggest you read something by Luigi Pirandello or Italo Svevo. They both belong to the same period and literary movement of Kafka and share similar influences such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Freud. More precisely I recommend "The Late Mattia Pascal" by Pirandello and "Confessions of Zeno" by Svevo, the former being probably closer to what you're looking for than the latter.
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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5289
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 5:33 pm 
 

The only author from Italy I have read so far was Italo Calvino (If on a winter's night a traveler) and I was deeply impressed by this book. I will take a look at your recommendations after I have finished my next book; Camus - The Plague.
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Oktavian
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:02 am
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 7:34 pm 
 

If you're looking for Kafka-like experiences while reading I'd recommend you some books by Haruki Murakami.
"Kafka on the Shore" and "the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" are really enchanting; his other novels don't reach the awesomeness of these two pieces of art but they're damn fine to read nonetheless.

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5289
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 8:23 pm 
 

Oktavian wrote:
If you're looking for Kafka-like experiences while reading I'd recommend you some books by Haruki Murakami.
"Kafka on the Shore" and "the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" are really enchanting; his other novels don't reach the awesomeness of these two pieces of art but they're damn fine to read nonetheless.

I have never read books from a Japanese author... thanks for the recommendation. I have glanced over the Wikipedia page and this might be an interesting author.
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Svartalf
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 117
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:41 pm 
 

H.P. Lovecraft is similar in tone when you are thinking of the Kafka aspect of a hostile, inexplicable universe, though Lovecraft lacks Kafka's touch of black humor.

Also Lovecraft is far more bizarre.

In terms of literary fiction that places its protags in odd situations, Borges might be worth a look.

But really, it all depends what you like about Kafka...

And if you go off on a tangent of Japanese literature, neglect not thy Abe and Mishima, though I'd be hard pressed to say how they're like Kafka. ;) Also they're 2nd 1/2 of c.20, but truly significant one way or another.

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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:47 am 
 

Interestingly, most of the names that came to mind had popped up already; Saramago's All the Names (but try also The Cave), Calvino (beautiful, beautiful, beautiful), Borges (some at least), Murakami (a pale imitation), Camus (The Outsider).

The problem is that Kafka is so utterly original that it's difficult to do something similar without coming across as the literary version of a fanboy (I've come across loads of contemporary fiction in which the protagonist is 'confused' and uncertain of their own identity in a hostile world-most of it is screamingly obvious and instantly forgettable hence no specific recs on that front).

Some other books that I think explore similar ideas as Kafka even if the tone of writing is different are
Dostoevsky-The Idiot
John Fowles-The Magus
Mervyn Peake-Titus Groan/Gormenghast

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VRR
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 7:57 am
Posts: 752
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:49 pm 
 

Kafka is one of my favourites too, and creates terror in a much more believable way than any horror writer has ever achieved. Not all of these are exactly similar, most are plays, but you'll probably enjoy them if you like Kafka:

Anton Chekhov - The Cherry Orchard
Samuel Beckett - Waiting For Godot
August Strindberg - Dance Of Death, The Dream Play
Ryunosuke Akutagawa - He wrote Rashomon, all his stories are short fables.
Philip K Dick - More modern, but all his novels are very Kafka-esque.

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Abominatrix
Harbinger of Metal

Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
Posts: 10163
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:54 pm 
 

AnimalBones wrote:
Interestingly, most of the names that came to mind had popped up already; Saramago's All the Names (but try also The Cave), Calvino (beautiful, beautiful, beautiful), Borges (some at least), Murakami (a pale imitation), Camus (The Outsider).

The problem is that Kafka is so utterly original that it's difficult to do something similar without coming across as the literary version of a fanboy (I've come across loads of contemporary fiction in which the protagonist is 'confused' and uncertain of their own identity in a hostile world-most of it is screamingly obvious and instantly forgettable hence no specific recs on that front).

Some other books that I think explore similar ideas as Kafka even if the tone of writing is different are
Dostoevsky-The Idiot
John Fowles-The Magus
Mervyn Peake-Titus Groan/Gormenghast


I would definitely suggest reading "GOrmenghast" ... What a mammoth and beautiful trilogy of books those are.

Stanislaw Lemm's "Memoirs Found in a Bathtub" strikes me as being rather Kafka-like. It's a quick, rather nightmarish read, and darkly amusing at times.

perhaps you could also try David Lindsay's "A Voyage to Arcturus", which I talk about at greater length in the literature thread. It's likely my favourite novel and I think it's a work of unparalleled beauty and pain, though it doesn't affect everyone as it has me.

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Svartalf
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 117
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:46 pm 
 

I definitely second Peake and Dick--and yes, they are both of the texture you want, but in very different ways.

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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5289
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:04 pm 
 

Thanks for the excellent recommendations.. I will certainly look into them.
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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
Posts: 3654
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:14 am 
 

The Maimed by Hermann Ungar
The Double by Dostoevsky
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cinedracusio
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 7:59 am
Posts: 493
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:55 pm 
 

Qwerr wrote:
I suggest you read something by Luigi Pirandello or Italo Svevo. They both belong to the same period and literary movement of Kafka and share similar influences such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and Freud. More precisely I recommend "The Late Mattia Pascal" by Pirandello and "Confessions of Zeno" by Svevo, the former being probably closer to what you're looking for than the latter.

Aside from these awesome authors, I warmly recommend Knut Hamsun's "Hunger". Definitely Kafka-esque.
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AnimalBones
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:03 am
Posts: 80
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:31 am 
 

cinedracusio wrote:
Aside from these awesome authors, I warmly recommend Knut Hamsun's "Hunger". Definitely Kafka-esque.


I thought Hunger was "okay" but I certainly know where you're coming from with the whole Kafkaesque thing. The protagonist does have that Josef K/K. thing of behaving in a manner completely logical and reasonable to himself but, as an outsider looking in on the novel, are clearly at odds with (in this case) survival.

I much prefer Hamsun when he had mellowed out a little. Mysteries, now I think back, ticks all the right "existential" boxes and is a good Kafkaesque rec and is not too far from The Idiot. Not Kafkaesque at all but I'm a big fan of Growth of the Soil (never read The Wanderer but I gather it is a loose sequel) and is a solid rec to all Nature Loving Black Metallers who would go nuts, I'm sure, for its central philosophy.

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failsafeman
Digital Dictator

Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:45 am
Posts: 9550
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:55 am 
 

On top of seconding Calvino and Peake, I would heartily recommend M. John Harrison's magnum opus, the Viriconium series. The first book is a bit more traditional, but the next two and the attendant short stories are very dream-like in the same way a lot of Kafka's stuff is, where the events and characters' responses to them seem to run on a logic both that is both familiar and profoundly foreign to our own. It reminded me a lot of "Das Urteil" in that I would often stop reading and think to myself "now why the hell did that happen?" Though I wouldn't hesitate to call it serious literature, it is vaguely sci-fi/fantasy and I don't know if that's something that would turn you off, but the designation lessens in importance as the series wears on to such an extent that by the third book especially it's barely nominal.
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Unaslayer
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:56 pm
Posts: 34
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:56 am 
 

Murakami's allright. I read "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle" and, while it had its interesting parts, it dragged on for too long.

If you enjoy weird stuff, check out Beckett. He's famous mostly for his plays, and that's all I've read from him, but he's definitely got a very unique charm. "Waiting for Godot" is great, if exasperating and annoying, which it's meant to be.

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cinedracusio
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 7:59 am
Posts: 493
Location: Romania
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:52 am 
 

AnimalBones wrote:
cinedracusio wrote:
Aside from these awesome authors, I warmly recommend Knut Hamsun's "Hunger". Definitely Kafka-esque.


I thought Hunger was "okay" but I certainly know where you're coming from with the whole Kafkaesque thing. The protagonist does have that Josef K/K. thing of behaving in a manner completely logical and reasonable to himself but, as an outsider looking in on the novel, are clearly at odds with (in this case) survival.

I much prefer Hamsun when he had mellowed out a little. Mysteries, now I think back, ticks all the right "existential" boxes and is a good Kafkaesque rec and is not too far from The Idiot. Not Kafkaesque at all but I'm a big fan of Growth of the Soil (never read The Wanderer but I gather it is a loose sequel) and is a solid rec to all Nature Loving Black Metallers who would go nuts, I'm sure, for its central philosophy.

The Last Chapter, if I'm not mistaking the title, is another great book of his. At least I fell in love with it.
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Chaos_Llama
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 7:04 pm
Posts: 430
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 7:00 am 
 

I'll third the Philip K. Dick

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BM_DM
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 65
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:51 am 
 

Jonathan Carroll's Land of Laughs
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Svartalf
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:22 am
Posts: 117
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:22 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
On top of seconding Calvino and Peake, I would heartily recommend M. John Harrison's magnum opus, the Viriconium series.


Good stuff, and recently re-released in an omnibus trade paper edition after being unavailable for twenty-five years. This is largely thanks to China Mieville, who also has whispers of Kafka and Peake in his fiction, particularly in Perdido St. Station and its sequel The Scar, but these are getting fairly far afield from the OP's request. However, if one were to follow the Peake-Harrison progression, Mieville is the logical next step.

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