The other day my husband and I were shopping in a Tesco hypermarket in Pilsen. Inside the building, there were presented several large boards promoting books to be published, each side of the boards was devoted to a single book. There was always a paragraph or two presenting the book and its author but what especially attracted my attention were images of the book's covers along with their drafts and other versions, it's something one rarely has the opportunity to see. Who could resist having a look behind the scene?
Several of the promoted books were written by Franz Kafka, a writer coming from a Jewish family who was writing in German and lived in Prague at the turn of 19th and 20th century. He's famous nowadays but his life must have been really troubled. It is interesting that much of his work was published after his death despite his wishes for it to be destroyed.
I hadn't read any of his books before and the boards in the shopping centre made me think about buying one, preferably "The Castle". I was speaking about the boards and about Kafka with my husband, who found them interesting as well, and so it happened that a few weeks ago he came home and presented me with… "The Castle".
Nevertheless, before I was able to grab the book and start reading it, my husband told me that Kafka had just been mentioned in the autobiography he was reading. The author of the autobiography remarked that he regretted he didn't start reading Kafka from his world-famous and most appreciated story "The Metamorphosis" for better understanding of his work.
Now what? Which Kafka's book should I read first? The one I was looking forward to or the one that sounded horrible but was recommended by someone who had some experience with Kafka's work?