The Office Writings
by Franz Kafka
$45.00 List Price
A week after moving to New York, I hired a car service to take me to the commercial loading docks at Kennedy Airport. I was trying to pick up several cartons of books I had shipped from Paris. After signing for the contents, I proceeded to the Customs Office, where an agent was waiting to stamp the import papers. I had forgotten my passport; all I had was an expired, out-of-state driver’s license. “Kafka, eh?” he said, looking closely at the license, then at me. There was a pause. “I guess you must find this all pretty Kafkaesque!” He chortled—actually chortled—before permitting me to collect my books and head home.
Freud would say that jokes about the Kafkaesque help us bank a bit of pleasure as we navigate bureaucracy’s maddening requirements. It can be a struggle to maintain that levity, and the editors of The
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