Do you know anyone who can be recognized by a single letter? There are not many people like that, are there?
We know friends and relatives by their names or their nicknames; for most acquaintances we even need a surname. But if you say K, millions of readers around the world will know who you are talking about, Franz Kafka, the writer who was born on this day one hundred and thirty years ago.
This special writer's words leave no one indifferent. His words are enigmatic, as he was himself, yet we can understand if we read carefully, we can recognize his struggle with his main enemy: himself.
This short story, a parable called Before the Law, belongs to one of his books, The Trial, a disturbing novel that starts this way: one morning two guards knock on K's door and arrest him. K is not given a reason, doesn't know what he has done, where he is going to be taken, who is going to judge him.
The following scenes belong to Orson Welles' 1962 film, The Trial, which begins with this parable read by himself.
(You can activate the English subtitles by clicking on Choose Language (bottom left) and then English 100%).