I am not a harsh critic of Kafka's father. For all that Hermann might have been rough with Franz, and clearly did not understand his son, he seemed to wish the best for him. Yes, what he considered best is not what Franz wanted but - to be fair - no one could give Franz what he wanted. Not even himself.
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Kafka V Kafka at Jack Studio Theatre Jan 2012
by Gareth Foreman
Kafka V Kafka, based on Franz Kafka’s Letter to my Father, adapted and translated by Howard Colyer, is at the Jack Studio Theatre, Brockley, from 17 Jan 2012 - 04 Feb 2012.
Directed by Leigh Tredger, design by Moi Tran, lighting by Anna Sbokou and produced by Nameless Theatre Company.
Cast includes Jack Wilkie (Franz), Gareth Pilkington(Hermann), Jean Apps (Julie), Ivy Corbin (Ottla).
At the age of 36, Franz Kafka was driven to write a letter to the father that he feared, addressing his harsh and authoritarian treatment of his son and the humiliations he inflicted on him. The resulting letter, over 100 pages long, was read by his sister and his mother, but not one word was read by his father. Set in the imagination of Franz Kafka, the play is a retelling of his childhood trials and traumas; as much a self-accusation as an accusation against his father, as much self-examination as cross-examination.