Cut & Paste: St. Louis translator reveals that maybe all of us — even Kafka — have a sunny side | St. Louis Public Radio

Cut & Paste: St. Louis translator reveals that maybe all of us — even Kafka — have a sunny side

May 12, 2016

Even if the iconic German-language writer Franz Kafka doesn’t cross your mind on a regular basis, you may still hear the adjective “Kafkaesque” from time to time and think: gloomy, nonsensical.

But a St. Louis translator says Kafka was darn near a jolly, optimistic fellow.

In our latest Cut & Paste podcast, we talk with Washington University professor Kurt Beals, who recently translated a book about the author’s life. He tells us Kafka foresaw modern media, was interested in fitness and travel, and was probably a guy we’d like to grab a beer with.

    

Here’s a few things you’ll hear Beals talk about in the podcast:

  • On the complexity of Kafka: “People think they have an idea of who Kafka is and this book gives them 99 other versions of who Kafka was.”
  • On Kafka's version of being a "regular guy": “He is someone who shares experiences with regular people but seems to experience them in radically different ways.”
  • On what Kafka’s Twitter handle might have been: “I’m guessing it would have had a ‘K’ in it, probably just ‘@K.’”

Look for new Cut & Paste (#cutpastestl) podcasts every few weeks on our website. You can also view all previous podcasts focusing on a diverse collection of visual and performing artists, and subscribe to Cut & Paste through this link.

Follow Willis and Nancy on Twitter: @WillisRArnold and @NancyFowlerSTL

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