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Un Medico Rural by Franz Kafka
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Un Medico Rural (original 1919; edition 2003)

by Franz Kafka (Author)

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219692,271 (3.64)14
Written during the winter of 1916-17 when Kafka was living in one of the tiny houses on Golden Lane (formerly Alchimistengasse) at Prague Castle, and published in spring 1920 by Kurt Wolff Verlag, the 14 short fictions comprising this volume are interconnected by a persistent exploration of identity, where even animals anthropomorphize into a new identity. "Before the Law," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report for an Academy" are among the most renowned stories he produced, and Kevin Blahut has rendered them in an English that is contemporary and fresh, capturing perfectly the nightmarish humor of Kafka's prose.… (more)
Member:LuisaMcGill
Title:Un Medico Rural
Authors:Franz Kafka (Author)
Info:EDICOMUNICACION (2003), Edition: unknown
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A Country Doctor: Short Stories by Franz Kafka (1919)

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» See also 14 mentions

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A doctor is needed, but he has no transport. It is winter, he has no horse to harness to his buggy. His own is dead, and no one else will risk their own animals on a journey of ten miles or more in the snow and ice. He has sent his servant girl out searching, but has very little hope. Suddenly, out of his own abandoned pig-sty a man crawls, followed by two horses. The doctor can leave. But the groom immediately bites Rose, the servant girl on the cheek. He says he will not be going but will stay behind with Rose. The doctor protests but can do nothing as before he knows it the horses are galloping off and he is in the farm where his patient awaits.

If that all seems a bit crazy to you, well, you might have some understanding of how it feels to read this story. It is short. There are no explanations for anything. One thing happens. Then something changes and another happens. Is it all a dream? is the doctor hallucinating from exposure standing out in the cold of winter? Is the groom a strange sort of representation of what the doctor wants to do?

The only answer I can give is maybe. There is no way to know. Reading it the first time I was totally lost. It made no sense to me. So I reread it. It still didn’t seem to make much sense, only after watching the lecture on the story did it really start to fall into place.

But even when I didn’t understand it I still liked it. I think I may be turning into a fan of Kafka, even if he is terribly depressing. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
The early Kafka represented in this work is only a pale foreshadowing of the mind that would produce The Trial, The Castle, and Metamorphosis. Many of these stories are simply jotted down thoughts that are only partially developed. ( )
  albertgoldfain | Aug 31, 2014 |
Another Kafka story which equally baffled me and even more sinister if you found that Noh-influenced Japanese short anime film. Its a story about a doctor and the snow stormy night when he was called out to meet a patient but weird things started happening to him which is hard to explain what happened exactly.

Personally this is more in line towards the Absurdist element than Melville's Bartleby does since this novel is like a ride with Fringe's Dr Walter Bishop on LSD. Unfortunately this story seemed to revolve around the idea of rape too. In fact, when the doctor's horse died from the chill, a man gave him horses for his trip and seemingly went after the maid while the doctor speed to his patient house. Then later the patient's family undress him and push him inside the bed naked and everything seemed to went against all sense of reasoning and so we're left in a paranoid loop by the author and his character and neither of us could even make sense of anything.

Honestly, if there are more clarity in this story, I would have been impressed by it. There are moment when I got suck into the story like Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-tale Heart and Raven, but then Kafka just pull out every strand of conscience and reality and jumble it all out and throw it out of the window.

There's also a recurrent element of self-deprecating and suicide which was again the focus from the style and it wouldn't be as menacing had it be more subtle. Kafka was an interesting character with a really dark passenger inside him. But it became obvious that while most touted him as a great influence in "existentialism", all I see was a man grasping at his sanity and becoming aware of the futility of his reality which was suffocating him. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Sep 23, 2013 |
Another Kafka story which equally baffled me and even more sinister if you found that Noh-influenced Japanese short anime film. Its a story about a doctor and the snow stormy night when he was called out to meet a patient but weird things started happening to him which is hard to explain what happened exactly.

Personally this is more in line towards the Absurdist element than Melville's Bartleby does since this novel is like a ride with Fringe's Dr Walter Bishop on LSD. Unfortunately this story seemed to revolve around the idea of rape too. In fact, when the doctor's horse died from the chill, a man gave him horses for his trip and seemingly went after the maid while the doctor speed to his patient house. Then later the patient's family undress him and push him inside the bed naked and everything seemed to went against all sense of reasoning and so we're left in a paranoid loop by the author and his character and neither of us could even make sense of anything.

Honestly, if there are more clarity in this story, I would have been impressed by it. There are moment when I got suck into the story like Edgar Allan Poe's Tell-tale Heart and Raven, but then Kafka just pull out every strand of conscience and reality and jumble it all out and throw it out of the window.

There's also a recurrent element of self-deprecating and suicide which was again the focus from the style and it wouldn't be as menacing had it be more subtle. Kafka was an interesting character with a really dark passenger inside him. But it became obvious that while most touted him as a great influence in "existentialism", all I see was a man grasping at his sanity and becoming aware of the futility of his reality which was suffocating him. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Sep 23, 2013 |
This book was really short and really uninteresting. Nothing much can be said about it. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Aug 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (41 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franz Kafkaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hruška, KarelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kafka, VladimírTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mortkowitz, SiegfriedTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Meinem Vater
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Der neue Advokat: Wir haben einen neuen Advokaten, den Dr. Bucephalus.
Ein Landarzt: Ich war in grosser Verlegenheit: eine dringende Reise stand mir bevor; ein Schwerkranker wartete auf mich in einem zehn Meilen entfernten Dorfe; starkes Schneegestöber füllte den weiten Raum zwischen mir und ihm; einen Wagen hatte ich, leicht, grossräderig, ganz wie er für unsere Landstrassen taugt; in den Pelz gepackt, die Instrumententasche in der Hand, stand ich reisefertig schon auf dem Hofe; aber das Pferd fehlte, das Pferd.
Auf der Galerie: Wenn irgendeine hinfällige, lungensichtige Kunstreiterin in der Manege auf schwankendem Pferd vor einem unermüdlichen Publikum vom peitschenschwingenden erbarmungslosen Chef monatelang ohne Unterbrechung im Kreise rundum getrieben würde, auf dem Pferde schwirrend, Küsse werfend, in der Taille sich wiegend, und wenn dieses Spiel unter dem nichtaussetzenden Brausen des Orchesters und der Ventilatoren in die immerfort weiter sich öffnende graue Zukunft sich fortsetzte, begleitet vom vergehenden und neu anschwellenden Beifallsklatschen der Hände, die eigentlich Dampfhämmer sind -
Ein altes Blatt: Es ist, als wäre viel vernachlässigt worden in der Verteidigung unseres Vaterlandes.
Vor dem Gesetz: Vor dem Gesetz steht ein Türhüter.
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Contains 14 short fictions. Please don't combine with editions containing the single story or a different selection of stories!
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Written during the winter of 1916-17 when Kafka was living in one of the tiny houses on Golden Lane (formerly Alchimistengasse) at Prague Castle, and published in spring 1920 by Kurt Wolff Verlag, the 14 short fictions comprising this volume are interconnected by a persistent exploration of identity, where even animals anthropomorphize into a new identity. "Before the Law," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report for an Academy" are among the most renowned stories he produced, and Kevin Blahut has rendered them in an English that is contemporary and fresh, capturing perfectly the nightmarish humor of Kafka's prose.

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Written during the winter of 1916-17 when Kafka was living in one of the tiny houses on Golden Lane (formerly Alchimistengasse) at Prague Castle, and published in spring 1920 by Kurt Wolff Verlag, the 14 short fictions comprising this volume are interconnected by a persistent exploration of identity, where even animals anthropomorphize into a new identity. "Before the Law," "A Country Doctor," and "A Report for an Academy" are among the most renowned stories he produced, and Kevin Blahut has rendered them in an English that is contemporary and fresh, capturing perfectly the nightmarish humor of Kafka's prose.
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