What is Kafkaesque?

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What is Kafkaesque?

Kafkaesque is a term that describes a situation that seems very weird, bizarre, creepy, and/or illogical. When a person experiences something that is not common nor natural, this particular experience may be described as “kafkaesque”. This term was coined in reference to Franz Kafka, a writer from Prague which was part of the area near Austria and Hungary. His style of writing was said to be weird and dealing towards the bizarre and so the term “kafkaesque” was coined.

Many of Kafka’s writings were considered part of modernism and magic realism types of literature. His stories usually involved some sort of gloomy message with a twist of absurdity. Kafka also wrote many ideas on being alienated and persecuted along with a seemingly out-of-this-world outcome or event. With Kafka’s interpretation of various situations in this bizarre way, people have taken inspiration from his style of writing to the way we perceive situations in the real world. If a person experiences something that is so untrue or unreal that cannot be understood using common sense, then this situation is labelled as Kafkaesque.

But defining situations as Kafkaesque does not include trivial things and common situations. Many experts believe that this particular term is somewhat overused in describing usual situations that involve impending doom, horror, or thrill. Like in the case of unusual activities as not being able to catch a bus just because all buses seemed to stop running, many experts stress that this situation does not qualify as Kafkaesque. But despite assertions by others to limit the use of this particular term, many still use it for everyday occurrences that are perceived as too complicated with no reason or cause to be blamed. Kafkaesque is even used widely as an internet or urban lingo to describe indescribable situations and experiences that seem to have no sense.

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