Kafka

Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9780889227439
Pages: 144
Pub. Date: April 15 2012
Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.5" x 0.5"
Rights: Available: WORLD
Categories
Drama / DRA013000

  • FICTION / Literary
  • FICTION / Westerns
  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Personal Memoirs
  • BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Women
  • LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Women
  • POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Immigration
  • FICTION / Disaster
  • POETRY / Canadian
  • DRAMA / Canadian
  • FICTION / Performing Arts / Dance, Theater & Musicals
  • PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
  • FIC

     Shop local bookstores

Kafka's Hat

Translated by Chantal Bilodeau
By Patrice Martin

In Patrice Martin’s ticklish tip of the hat to the writing of Franz Kafka, we follow the misadventures of a bureaucrat – aptly named “P.” (pun intended) – as he embarks on the illustrious task of collecting the titular headgear. “P.” expects that the accomplishment of this seemingly simple task will grant him both a professional and a personal promotion. But Martin’s eager protagonist has overlooked the systematic difficulty in modern bureaucracies – as well as in some of twentieth-century’s best fiction – of getting things done. And so Kafka’s hat is increasingly unreachable: express elevators get stuck between floors, rooms full of suitcases must be searched, unsympathetic bureaucrats must be confronted, and then there’s the rather unanticipated discovery of a fresh cadaver in the library … Naturally, “P.” knows that every hero has his coming-of-age trial to go through; trouble is, he’s no modern Ulysses.

Never departing in tone and timbre from a somewhat amicable and farcical, obstinately absurd storytelling style, Kafka’s Hat assembles a pleasant labyrinth of intertextual references, which make room for the diverse imaginary worlds of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Paul Auster. Living in a different city, wearing new clothes, but still immersed in the part-tragic and part-comical ambience of Franz Kafka’s best existentialist literature, Patrice Martin’s “P.” is the compelling alter ego of a not-so-distant “Joseph K.” – still contemporary, still relevant.

Invoking some of modern literature’s most meaningful authors, Martin’s prose playfully reminds us that we do not create new work without reintroducing past fictions inside our present desires.

Short-listed 2013 Typographic Translation Award (Typographic Era blog)

"Patrice Martin's first novel revels in the humor, witty eloquence, and intelligence of the author."
Le Devoir