Franzlations takes the parables and aphorisms of Kafka as a starting point, and steps a few places to the left in order to reinvent them. Sometimes this means walking off a cliff and into the empty air. (Don't look down!) Sometimes this means keeping the cage and replacing the bird. For of course, Kafka's writing is a rich source of ideas, play, structure, and wit. It looks like the real world, but in the way the bootstrap that one pulls oneself up with looks like a real bootstrap. It is said that if Kafka had not existed, Kafka would have had to invent him. But since he did exist, Franzlations has invented an imaginary Kafka so that he could help create the Kafka that was already there. Perhaps it was that Kafka who helped create these imaginary parables. This, itself, is a parable. A man once said, "If you only followed the parables, you yourselves would become parables and with that rid yourself of all your daily cares." Another replied, "I bet that is also a parable." The first said: "You have won." The second said: "But unfortunately only in parable." The first said: "No, in reality: in parable you have lost." — Franz Kafka
About the authors
Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, and performer. He is the author of numerous books and chapbooks of poetry and fiction including the poetry collections frogments from the frag pool: haiku after basho (written with derek beaulieu) and Raising Eyebrows and Outside the Hat (Coach House Books) and the fiction collections Doctor Weep and other strange teeth, Big Red Baby (The Mercury Press), and Cruelty to Fabulous Animals (Moonstone Press). He is the author of The Mud Game, a novel written with Stuart Ross (The Mercury Press). Barwin is also the author of several books for children including Seeing Stars, a young adult novel (Stoddart Kids) nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award and the CLA YA Book of the Year, and Killer Poodle Made Me Island King (Fox Meadow), co-winner of the Muskoka Novel Marathon 2003. Barwin received a PhD in Music Composition and currently teaches music at Hillfield-Strathallan College and creative writing at McMaster University. Barwin lives in Hamilton, where he has cultivated vague but colourful illusions about his writing. Please don’t tell him.
Hugh Thomas‘s work as a mathematician takes him around the world to conferences and residencies, which has contributed to the polylingual mishmash out of which his poetry arises. Hugh has lived in Winnipeg, Toronto, Chicago, London, and Fredericton, and currently resides in Montréal, where he teaches mathematics at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Other titles by Gary Barwin
Laurier Poetry Pack #5
Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted
The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy
Laurier Poetry Pack #4
Wilfrid Laurier University Press
For It Is a Pleasure and a Surprise to Breathe
New and Selected Poems
No TV for Woodpeckers
I, Dr. Greenblatt, Orthodontist, 251-1457
Yiddish for Pirates
Selected and New Poetry of Paul Dutton