Kafka comedy

Hmmm, Czech humor?

Kafka and his cohorts apparently laughed themselves sick when he read out early drafts of “The Trial” in Prague coffeehouses.

More than a few writers bemoan the fact that everyone (well, almost everyone) takes Kafka so seriously. Not hard with all that existential despair and constant, looming sense of dread.

Ask a Czech and they’ll tell you they read Kafka for a laugh. Czech humor lies in a sense of ironic absurdity, a coping mechanism for being historically invaded by outsiders and told what to do by everyone else.

It’s not light-hearted and frothy. It’s not farce. It’s not comic.

It’s dark and wry and a little twisted. So how could you do “The Trial” as a comedy? Set in a circus? Pick on the new clown? Cast it with midgets?

How about glove puppets? Funny people? Funny accents? Funny subtitles?

How can you draw out the humor?

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