November 27th, 2014
Episode 417 of 533 episodes
In Franz Kafka's novel 'The Trial', readers follow the protagonist Joseph K into a bizarre, nightmarish world in which he stands accused of an unknown crime and there seems to be no escape from a crushing, oppressive bureaucracy. Kafka was a German-speaking Jew who lived in the Czech city of Prague, during the turbulent years which followed the First World War. His stories exploring power and alienation have chimed with existentialists, Marxists, psychoanalysts, postmodernists - and Radio 4 listeners, who suggested this as our topic for listener week on In Our Time. Melvyn Bragg is joined by Elizabeth Boa, Professor Emerita of German at the University of Nottingham; Steve Connor, Grace 2 Professor of English at the University of Cambridge and Ritchie Robertson, Taylor Professor of the German Language and Literature at the University of Oxford.