David Foster Wallace on Kafka’s Humor

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

In Consider the Lobster David Foster Wallace has a short essay titled “Some Remarks on Kafka’s Funniness From Which Probably Not Enough Has Been Removed,” in which he presents his case for reading humor in Kafka and how he tried to teach his students to do this when teaching Kafka. I liked this passage at the end and wanted to share it


It’s not that students don’t “get” Kafka’s humor but that we’ve taught them to see humor as something you get – the same way we’ve taught them that a self is something you just have. No wonder they cannot appreciate the really center Kafka joke: that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.

The rest of the essays in the collection are great too. Some personal favorites include “How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart,” “Authority and American Usage,” and “Certainly the End of Something or Other, One Would Sort of Have to Think.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading David Foster Wallace on Kafka’s Humor at Samarth Bhaskar.


%d bloggers like this: