Posts

Showing posts from October, 2011

Before the Law: Flash Fiction by Franz Kafka

Image
Hard to write significant stories under 1,000 words? So they say. Kafka did it brilliantly in "Before the Law." This excellent English translation by Ian Johnston has just 642 words but packs a thunder of a parable.  
The text itself is from http://www.kafka-online.info/about-us.htm, and slightly reformatted by me.  


Before the Law By Frank Kafka

Translation by Ian Johnston
Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot grant him entry at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over in order to see through the gate into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it in spite of my prohibition. But take …