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The Trial by Franz Kafka

The story of the mysterious indictment, trial, and reckoning forced upon Joseph K. is one of the twentieth century's master parables, reflecting the central spiritual crises of modern life. Kafka's method - one that has influenced, in some way, almost every writer of substance who followed him - was to render the absurd and the terrifying convincing by a scrupulous, hyperreal matter-of-factness of tone and treatment. He thereby imparted to his work a level of seriousness normally associated with civilization's most cherished poems and religious texts.