“Connections Between Ismael Kadare and Franz Kafka”
March 5, 2012
The fictional works of Ismail Kadare have often been characterized as being “Kafkaesque,” where the reader can identify similarities to the works of Franz Kafka. While reading the well-known works of Franz Kafka and Ismail Kadare, there is an evident correlation of themes and connections among their stories, especially when considering a boundless labyrinth, punishment seeking the offense, and the use of obedient and functionary characters. Ismail Kadare’s The Pyramid contains all three of these themes when comparing the story to Franz Kafka’s “Before the Law,”
“In the Penal Colony,” and “The Great Wall of China.” The connection these two authors have in their writings creates interesting comparisons among stories that help a reader relate one story to another.
The presence of a boundless labyrinth, where a character can never find an ending or understanding, is often what makes a Kafka story “Kafka-like.” In his parable, “Before the Law,” Franz Kafka introduces a man from the country that is seeking to gain admittance to the Law, which everyone seeks during his or her lifetime. Met by a doorkeeper at the gates of the Law, the countryman is restricted entrance due to the increasingly powerful doorkeepers that come to follow. As he waits his entire life in front of this doorkeeper, continuously bribing him for entrance, the countryman wonders why no one else has come to this gate. The doorkeeper responds, “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it” (4, Kafka).The countryman faces his own death never entering the Law, causing him to fail at finding out what it contains. This boundless labyrinth may be an allegory for the unconscious where man tries to fully understand himself, but is never able to arrive. The countryman was never able to succeed in finding what the Law...