Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Top Shelf Short Stories: Unmasking a Confidence Trickster

Unmasking a Confidence Trickster
by Franz Kafka

I am running late with today's short story and I have to be honest - I picked a super short one. I couldn't help it! I've had a busy and tiring day. 

Anyway, my second confession of the day: this is the first piece of literature from Kafka that I've read. 

< GASP >

I started Metamorphosis, but have yet to finish it. I think I started reading that at the wrong time and at too young of an age to tell you the truth. 

The short story I read was "Unmasking a Confidence Trickster" and even though I got the jist of the story during my first read (it really is a REALLY short story), I had to Google the story to understand the meaning. Basically, a confidence trickster is a person who sets out to deceive someone by making the person believe that something that is not true. In the story, the narrator is a person who is being followed by another man who is annoying the narrator. All the narrator wants to do is go into this house that he's been invited to, but he can't seem to shake off this man who keeps following him. While they stand outside this house, the narrator realizes that this man is not unlike those other confidence tricksters that the he has come across. Once he realizes this, he announces it to the man and runs inside the house. Once inside, the narrator is described as "breathing a sigh of relief" and "straightening up" before entering the drawing room. 

When I researched this story, the article I read said the narrator was more than likely an immigrant who often came across people who were looking to take advantage of him. When I first read the story, I did not think of the narrator as an immigrant. However, this might be because of the time the short story was written. Regardless, it was an interesting adventure into the writing of Kafka! 


The story was too short for me to really judge what I feel for Kafka. I'm looking forward to reading more and getting a sense of his writing. The story was an interesting look into another way of writing and thinking of things. 

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