Kafka Shorts
Franz Kafka

was an unusual and unhappy man who believed life to be quite fruitless and unfulfilling. To prove a point, he spent years of Franz Kafkahis time writing novels which he left unfinished, then, as he was dying, he asked his best mate, Max Brod, to burn them.

Luckily for us, they were never burnt, but in fact were published. Kafka is is a brilliant writer, so it would be a sad thing to never read his novels. Sure they may not have an ending, but, like life itself, the joy is in the journey.


Kafka Shorts

Music Theater for string quartet and 2 actors, fuses original music for string quartet with a text adapted from the Diary of Kafka BeetleFranz Kafka and from 8 of his enigmatic Parables. About 40 minutes in length, Ray Luedeke's Kafka Shorts can be part of a traditional (or non-traditional) string quartet concert. The two actors represent Franz Kafka, himself, and his character Gregor Samsa, from the famous story Metamorphosis.
"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."

Kafka Cartoon
A perplexed Samsa asks Kafka, "who... what am I? … a Freudian
Dream… a Commentary from the Talmud… a philosophical, religious puzzle.. the progress of a disease?"
With quotes from his Diary and with 8 of his Parables, Kafka explains himself. Or does he?

At Night

"Deeply lost in the night. Just as one sometimes lowers one's head to reflect, thus to be utterly lost in the night. All around people are asleep. It's just play acting, an innocent self-deception, that they sleep in houses, in safe beds, under a safe roof….."

The Vulture

"A vulture was hacking at my feet. It had already torn my boots and stockings, now it was hacking at the feet themselves. Again and again it struck at them, then circled several times restlessly around me, then returned to continue its work. a gentleman passed by, looked on for a while then asked me why I suffered the vulture. "I' helpless," I said. "When it came and began to attack me, I of course tried to drive it away……"

The Bridge

"I am stiff and cold, I am a bridge, I lay over a ravine. My toes on one side, my fingers clutching the other, I have clamped myself fast into the crumbling clay. the tails of my coat flutter at my sides. Far below brawls the icy trout stream……"

On Parables
"Many complain that the words of the wise are always merely parables and of no use in daily life, which is the only life we have. When the sage says: "Go over," he does not mean that we should cross to some actual place, which we would do anyhow if the labor were worth it, he means some fabulous yonder, something unknown to us….."

Videos from NY's Tenri Gallery


The Way Home
In the Night
Kafka I


The Vulture
Excursion in the Mountains
Kafka II


The Runners
The Bridge
Kafka III


Give in Up!
About Parables
Kafka IV