Friday, 14 May 2010
The Airplanes in Brescia
"And nothing better symbolized the technological modernity of Kafka's time than the airplane. At least this is the case if we are to believe Kafka's essay "The Aeroplanes at Brescia," which is an account of a trip he took with Max and Otto Brod to an airplane race and exhibition in Brescia, Italy. The essay, which was published in the newspaper Bohemia in 1909, was one of the first literary descriptions of the airplane to appear in German. On a stylistic level, "The Aeroplanes at Brescia" is important as a reminder of Kafka's writing skills: we are already aware of his remarkable ability to distort our world into something strange and different, as he does for example in The Trial or Metamorphosis; that he was also capable of so brilliantly bringing to life an event that was completely of this world helps to show us why he was one of the world's great writers."