Is understanding and understanding the same thing

The author who changed the worldview ...

The author who changed the worldview | © Photo Goethe-Institut

"Correct understanding of a thing and misunderstanding of the same thing are not completely mutually exclusive."

"When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from restless dreams, he found himself transformed into a monstrous vermin in his bed ..." ... "The famous novel by the German-speaking writer Franz Kafka begins with this sentence.

The writer is still considered to be one of the key figures in 20th century literature. Not everyone understands his works. They are filled with absurdity and fear of the modern world and its highest authorities. His short stories, letters and novels have the ability to first create restlessness and fear in the reader and only then to answer many questions. This is where two opposing directions come together - realism and fantasy. The author's works are full of psychological solutions to problems and philosophical explanations of life events.

Most of the work was published posthumously. The author shared only a few short stories during his lifetime. His famous works "Metamorphosis", "Castle", "Letter to the Father", "Letters to Melene", "The Judgment" are very popular in many countries around the world.

The works of Franz Kafka also shaped Uzbek literature and the development of many Uzbek writers.
Khurshid Dustmuhammad, a writer and literary critic, recalls the years of "acquaintance" with Kafka as follows:
“During these years the young Uzbek writers were seriously interested in the work of the German-speaking writer. Franz Kafka was considered one of the most popular and important writers in the world of the 80s of the last century. We read his Rotaprint prints passed from hand to hand. Young and curious, we conducted loud discussions in the circles of writers and analyzed every sentence of his novels and letters. At the time, a publicist unfamiliar with Kafka's work was not considered a writer. That was how much his works were valued. In Uzbekistan, even then, books worth reading included “In the Penal Colony”, “Trial” and “Letter to the Father”.

"The Metamorphosis", which was still unknown in many countries, became the cause of discussion among Uzbek writers. In the short story, the main character, Gregor Samsa, didn't understand his human essence until he turned into an insect. Up to this point he had dealt intensively with the problems of life and the worries of his time. After reading and analyzing it, we, the Uzbek writers, came to the conclusion that a person should first understand their inner world, their desires, plans and possibilities. The Metamorphosis - Laboratory Prose. Kafka created a laboratory in which a person becomes thoughtful, searches for himself and changes.

When I visited Germany with the state delegation at the end of the 1990s, the question arose whether there was any information about the life and work of Franz Kafka. The representative of the Berlin city administration was surprised by the fame of the writer in Uzbekistan. And at the end of the evening he handed me books on Kafka. This incident stuck in my memory for a long time.

What did Kafka give to the representatives of Uzbek literature? He taught to look at people with different eyes, to change one's posture and one's point of view. An unconventional view of the world and humanity - he introduced the Uzbeks to this innovation. His life, his range of vision, his perception of people - all of this is still the subject of many discussions.
Franz Kafka - is an original author whose works are difficult to understand, but give an indescribable pleasure after reading them, - said a literary critic.

Many of the author's works have been translated into Uzbek. The translation of the famous works "The Trial" ("Jarayon") and "Letter to the Father" ("Otamga Xat") saw the light through the eyes of the translator and playwright Vafo Fayzullo in 2015. At that time, the publisher "Shark" published the works. In 2016, the publishing house “Davr Press” published a translation of the book “The Judgment” (“Ota hukmi”).
The works: "Amerika" ("Amerika"); "In a penal colony" ("Jazo koloniyasida"); “Description of a fight” (“Bir kurash tarixi”); "Castle" ("Ko’rg‘on"); "The hunger artist" ("Ochlik ustasi") translated.

It is worth noting that a school "Kafkovedenie" was founded to preserve the memory of the famous writer and to spread his works. The representatives of this school are scientists - literary scholars and translators of Uzbekistan Khurshid Dustmuhammad, Nazar Eshonkulov, Mirzaali Akbarov, Muhammadjon Kholbek, Ahmad Otaboy, Erkin Ernazarov, Poshali Usmon, Vafo Fayzullo.

Various events dedicated to the work of the writer are held in Uzbekistan. For example, Mike Weil's Ilkhom Theater presented a performance based on Kafka's novel “The Castle” for the first time in Tashkent. The audience was enthusiastic about the skills of young actors and seemed to become part of the play themselves. This suggests that the memory of the German-speaking writer is still not exhausted.
The work “The Metamorphosis” can actually turn you into an insect with the help of an installation based on virtual reality technology at the Goethe Institute. The VR throws you into the moment the main character Gregor Samsa wakes up and lasts about five minutes. The main goal of the game is to find a way out of an enclosed space. Will a human be able to survive in the body of an insect? Most likely it won't be easy.


Ozoda Jonuzakova

Translation: Maria Wahine