The Judgement - Franz Kafka

If you thought Kafka's Metamorphosis was strange try "The Judgement" for size. It is a short story, a tiny little story, one of the first, written by Kafka. Deeply symbolic and multilayered, it is one of those tales where you end up looking for, and often finding, far more than probably the author even tried to say himself.

Georg has decided to share the news of his engagement with his distant friend. Before he goes ahead with it he decides to run it by his sickly father. What happens next is one of those bizarre conversations that have come to define Kafka over the years. It ends in a spectacularly bizarre fashion that will make you scratch your brain in disbelief. 

Scholars have agonized over the years to find the true meaning behind this story. The true meaning behind the character of Georg and his dear departed friend that never makes an appearance. The true meaning behind the father's seemingly sudden craziness. Is Georg his own departed friend? Is he the father? Is his father crazy? Or is Georg guilty of everything his father accuses him of?  What is Georg guilt of anyway?

Give it a read -- it is short and oh so very bitter.