Enter the Franz Kafka Caption Contest for a Likelihood to Win a New E-book of the Creator’s Drawings (Till June 13)

Think about if Franz Kafka had been charged with selecting the profitable entries in The New Yorker’s weekly cartoon caption contest.

The punchlines may turn into a bit extra obscure.

If that concept fills you with perverse pleasure, maybe it's best to toddle over to Yale College Press’s Instagram to contribute some attainable captions for eight of the inky drawings the tortured writer made in a black pocket book between 1901 and 1907.

The supposed that means of those pictures, included within the new guide, Franz Kafka: The Drawings, are as up for grabs as any uncaptioned cartoon on the again web page of The New Yorker.

In Conversations with Kafka, writer Gustav Janouch recalled how their significance proved elusive even to their creator, and in addition the frustration his good friend expressed concerning his inventive skills:

I ought to so like to have the ability to draw. As a matter of truth, I'm at all times making an attempt to. However nothing comes of it. My drawings are purely private image writing, whose that means even I can not uncover after a time.

Kafka appears to have gone simpler on himself in a 1913 letter to fiancée Felice Bauer:

I used to be as soon as an amazing draftsman, … These drawings gave me larger satisfaction in these days—it’s years in the past—than anything.

Artist Philip Hartigan, who referenced the drawings in a journal and sketchbook class for writing college students nails it when he describes how Kafka’s “fast minimal actions … convey the standard despairing temper of his fiction in only a few traces.”

You have got till June 13 to make express what Kafka didn't by leaving your proposed caption for every drawing as a touch upon Yale College Press’s Instagram, alongside the hashtag #KafkaCaptionContest.

Winners will obtain a replica of  Franz Kafka: The Drawings. Entries will probably be judged by editor Andreas Kilcher of and theorist Judith Butler, who contributed an essay that you just may contemplate mining for materials:

Was it a muffled loss of life? Or maybe it was no loss of life in any respect, only a tumbling of intercourse, a sexual flurry?

Sure, which may go properly with Kafka’s drawing of a seated determine collapsed over a desk, under.


Some alternate proposals from contest hopefuls:

I wanted to wash my battered knuckles with my tears.

He studied his newly acquired uncommon stamp with a strong loupe.

How can I guarantee that all my letters and papers will probably be destroyed after my loss of life? I do know – I’ll ask my closest good friend to care for it!

This final is a reference to Kafka’s literary executor, Max Brod, who defied Kafka’s express want that every one of his work be burned upon his loss of life, save The Metamorphosis, and 5 quick tales: The Judgment, The Stoker, Within the Penal Colony, A Nation Physician and A Starvation Artist.

Brod reduce Kafka’s drawing of the standing determine, above, from his sketchbook and stored in an envelope with a number of others. A few of the present caption options for this haunting, by no means earlier than seen picture:

my face is an umbrella to my tears

I couldn’t face myself.

I'm the Walrus goo goo g’joob


Of the eight drawings within the caption contest, Drinker, could supply essentially the most narrative prospects. A consultant sampling of the inventiveness that’s come over the transom thusfar:

I, interval

Angered by the impudence of the cabernet, i had solely the braveness to berate its shadow

Waiter! There’s a roach in my wine.

Enter Yale College Press’ Kafka Caption Contest (or get a really feel for the competitors) right here. Entries will probably be accepted by June 13. Full contest guidelines are right here. Good luck!

Discover the drawings and different contents of Franz Kafka’s black pocket book right here.

Buy Franz Kafka: The Drawings, the primary guide to publish everything of the writer’s graphic output, right here.

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and writer, most lately, of Artistic, Not Well-known: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Comply with her @AyunHalliday.

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