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Letter to my Father

Letter to my Father

Interested in Kafka?

Local resident, Howard Colyer is giving a reading of his translation of Kafka’s Letter to my Father at Printed Matter Bookshop. HOT’s Zelly Restorick asks him about his connection with Kafka.



What draws you to Kafka?

That’s a question I find hard to answer in a few words. But a significant part of the attraction lies in the contrast between the lucid surface of his stories and their murky depths. His tales are parables which deserve long and close attention – Kafka could make the bizarre seem natural.

And what draws you in particular to this book: Letter to my Father?

It was the closest that Kafka came to writing an autobiography and yet it’s little known. In addition it is a powerful statement of much of the unhappiness in Kafka’s life, and it was written while his father was still alive – whereas many of the famous books by sons about their fathers were written after the father had died, for example, Edmund Gosse: Father and Son, JR Ackerley: My Father and Myself, VS Pritchett: A Cab at the Door, Blake Morrison: And When Did You Last See Your Father? Consequently Kafka’s letter has an especially sharp taste.

What will you be covering in your talk?

I’ll give a brief introduction to Franz and Hermann Kafka, read the first 16 pages of the book, and then answer questions. Principally it’s a reading.

Tell us something about yourself.

Since moving to Hastings I’ve become a full-time writer. For most of the previous ten years I’d worked part-time as a playwright, but now I’m concentrating on a novel, and to help this transition, I’m doing an MA at Goldsmiths in London. However I’m still involved with the stage and I’m due to have a new play performed at the Jack Studio in south-east London in February, and a stage version of Letter to my Father is due to be performed as a monologue in Los Angeles next year – which will be based on my translation.

Howard Colyer

Posted 07:37 Saturday, Nov 10, 2018 In: Literature

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