Another Approach to Teaching Kafka through Graphic Texts

Ulf K., Hieronymus B. 1997-2007. Wuppertal: Edition 52, 2007.

Thanks to Mary Gell, University of Michigan, for introducing me to this collection of wordless short sketches about the character Hieronymus B. Because the stories consist only of pictures, a text like this one forces students to pay attention to the art and its function separate from words. Its themes come across as “Kafkaesque,” which is why this thin volume could serve as an effective companion to other graphic renditions of Kafka texts (R. Crumb, Peter Kuper, Eric Corbeyran), or as a thematic introduction to the authentic texts.

In the jacket copy for the German version, Ulf K. describes the character as follows (see caption):

"[Er] sollte ein kleiner Angestellter in einer nicht näher definierten Behörde sein, den ich immer wieder mit eigentümlichen Wesen und Situationen konfrontieren wollte."

“[Er] sollte ein kleiner Angestellter in einer nicht näher definierten Behörde sein, den ich immer wieder mit eigentümlichen Wesen und Situationen konfrontieren wollte.”

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