Socially Inadequate Teens Obsessed with Kafka

Updated April 01, 2016 1:57pm PDT
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Studies show a rising convergence between loser teenagers with no friends and the works of German Existentialist Franz Kafka. 

Many of those who don't get to sit at the cool kids table can be seen reading strange poetry and existential horror stories about being turned into insects. Maybe Kafka himself is the cause of their loneliness. 

Ariel, age 16 had this to say about the Metamorphosis: "When I came out as transgender to my family, the experience of Gregor Samsa resonated with me. I felt ostracized, cast out. Made to feel as if I'd become something less than human. Gregor's family transforms from that of concern to outright disdain and loathing, relieved when he finally dies alone and abandoned. That's how I feel my family sees me."

For me, it sounds like Kafka is the work of seedy liberals attempting to turn kids into cock-roach loving furries–but the well runs deeper than that. His other work, equally famous and in the hands of as many youngsters is that of The Trial. It's a dystopian narrative of a corrupt government that falsely arrests a young man for a crime he's not even allowed to know he's committed. He spends the entirety of the book falling further into debt as his money is siphoned to lawyers that promise him a winning case but never share the details as he's continually pulled into an absurdist horror of bureaucracy and tyranny.

A vicious SJW misconstruing of our legal system if ever there was one. The dissemination of this literature, which itself poises more danger to our youth than a 1st pressing of Nirvana's Bleach that you used to listen to with your best friend who you might've had feelings for if you'd ever possessed the language or understanding of how non-straight relationships could come to be–JESUS COMPELS YOU TO GET OUT OF MY MIND, KRIS–poisons young minds into disrespecting authority figures.

Someone should write a book about real cops, the ones who never falsely imprison people, and whose big bushy moustaches serve as swarthy jungles in which I hide my secret desires. Lose yourself in my labyrinth of repression, memories of Kris' tiny wrists and soft groan during commercials to keep the messages of commercialization from getting into their head. 

Aaron, age 18 who confesses to spending much of his time by himself in his room reading poetry, had this to say about The Castle: "There was something compelling in the frustrations K's attempts to gain access to the authorities who govern the village from the castle. Kafka died before finishing the work, but suggested it would end with the character dying in the village, the castle notifying him on his deathbed that his legal claim to live in the village was not valid. Even in death, he's disrespected and dehumanized. There's a theme of being alienated from those you seek justice from all throughout Kafka's work, an unresponsive government, and the horrors of bureaucracy.

"I guess this one just really resonates with me. It reminds me a lot of stories you hear about the AIDS crisis back in the 80's, how hundreds of queer people were dying to a disease laughed and mocked at by the government. Dehumanizing them even to the end."

Not everything has to be political, Aaron. Bugs don't have complex systems of government. You ever see a bee try to claim diplomatic immunity? Have you been communing with animals, Aaron? Is there where you're getting your ideas from.

 I should speak with your parents after I finish this article. Is one of your parents named Kris? 

Some might suggest that the reason Kafka's work resonates so strongly with alienated marginalized teenagers is that his words give voice to that loneliness, the feeling of being cut off from society and ignored by those who might help you. 

I think all of us who've read the first two chapters of Ulysess and said "Get behind me, Satan!" to its rambling revelations is that teenagers are glued to their cellphones texting all the time, and don't eat their cereal.


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Dorian Dawes is a published author of short fiction, as well as several non-fiction articles and essays. They have an affinity for horror and the macabre. Nothing beats a schlocky horror flick and cuddles. When not writing they are playing too many videogames, binging anime on netflix, or running a tabletop game for their queer gaming group. They used to want to run the world, but have since decided on working on being a better person in it. Other ambitions include needing the perfect all-black wardrobe and kissing as many cute boys as possible.