Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor

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Four Corners Books, 2009 - Fiction - 86 pages
3 Reviews
In this volume, British artist David Musgrave revisits Franz Kafka's novella Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor, the tale of a man who arrives home one day to find two plastic balls bouncing off the ground of their own accord. To his great irritation, these balls follow Blumfeld--who is a stickler for absolute order in his universe--wherever he goes, and his attempts to divest himself of their presence are described with Kafka's customary flair for the detached observation of the extremely bizarre. Musgrave has responded to Kafka's story with a series of pencil drawings of curious artifacts and pseudo-archaeological fragments of his own invention. Combined with John Morgan's austere design--which finds the book typeset in Kafka's preferred font and large type size, which he was never able to see printed in his lifetime--this volume almost feels like a case study of some unique bygone supernatural phenomenon.

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Review: Four Corners Familiars 3: Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor

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so good Read full review

Review: Four Corners Familiars 3: Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor

User Review  - Goodreads

A lovely, well-made little book. There are few reasons not to want to spend 20 minutes reading about a very contemptuous old man who is suddenly plagued by two blue and white-striped balls. Add some ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, of middle-class Jewish parents. He apparently suffered a great deal of psychological pain at a young age at the hands of his domineering father. He took a law degree at the German University of Prague, then obtained a position in the workman's compensation division of the Austrian government. Always neurotic, insecure, and filled with a sense of inadequacy, Kafka's writing is a search for personal fulfillment and understanding. He wrote very slowly and deliberately, publishing very little in his lifetime. At his death he asked a close friend to burn his remaining manuscripts , but the friend refused the request. Instead the friend arranged for publication Kafka's longer stories, which have since brought him worldwide fame and have influenced many contemporary writers. Kafka's stories are nightmarish tales in which a helpless central character's every move is controlled by heartless, impersonal forces. An example is his 1938 psychological thriller, "The Metamorphosis." The story centers around a salesman named Gregor, who wakes up one morning and finds he is no longer a man but a giant insect. In today's increasingly complex, technological, and bureaucratic societies, Kafka has found a growing audience of sympathetic readers who understand the feeling of powerlessness Kafka's heroes experienced.

David Musgrave's exhibitions include shows at greengrassi, London, Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles and Art Now at Tate Britain. He has been in numerous international group exhibitions including Casino 2001, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2001) and the British Art Show 5 (2000). He lives and works in London.

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