Monday, September 29, 2008

Surprise Party

How come every European city has a bar called Café Kafka? Do drinkers especially like Kafka? Do they like a disorienting kind of drunkenness, serviced by menacing bureaucrats? Do bartenders like Kafka, or waitresses? Are European drunks so literate? Of course, Frankfurt has a Café Kafka. I’ve been there. There’s nothing kafkaesque about it. Not that I noticed. Are we all talking about the same Kafka? Part down the middle, big ears? Do all these cafés confiscate your passport as security when you enter? Are they all connected to each other by some hidden door in the broom closet?

6 comments:

Andrew Shields said...

You mean you haven't been through the broom closet yet? It's a cool way to get around!

Robin said...

That's a very good question!

Catherine said...

Maybe people just like the alliteration.

SarahJane said...

Catherine is right - it's the /kaf/ /kaf/ phonetic at work! A similar impulse leads people to name their laundry shops "Krazy Kleaners," throwing in the orthographic peculiarity to help the slow. hee

Andrew, I have not been through the closet yet. I will poke around. I assume Basel also has a Café Kafka?

Andrew Shields said...

Actually, I don't think Basel does have a Cafe Kafka. But the cafe/bar of the Literaturhaus is called "Kafka am Strand." They've got one of the broom closets, I suspect. (Although Literaturhäuser probably use other methods to send writers from Lithaus to Lithaus, involving secret passages behind bookshelves and the like.)

Annamari said...

I agree with the previous comments on how “ Café Kafka” sounds …plus you would be surprised how many people in Europe had actually head of Kafka but had not read a story by him. So it's just another cool name.

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