Ready to exercise your literary and visual creativity at the same time? This week, Yale University Press is running a caption contest on Instagram to showcase some of the extraordinary, strange, and funny drawings that are gathered in the new book, Franz Kafka: The Drawings, edited by Andreas Kilcher and Pavel Schmidt with contributions by Judith Butler. The book is the first to publish the entirety of Kafka’s graphic output, including more than 100 newly discovered drawings.

Although Kafka is renowned and beloved for his written work, his drawings are evidence of what his literary executor Max Brod termed his “double talent.” Irresistible and full of fascinating figures, shifting from the realistic to the fantastic, the grotesque, the uncanny, and the carnivalesque, they illuminate a previously unknown side of the quintessential modernist writer.

The Kafka caption contest features eight of his drawings, all of which appear in our IG feed. Check out our profile page or search for #KafkaCaptionContest, and then submit your caption in the comments section. The entries will be co-judged by Andreas Kilcher and Judith Butler. The author of the winning caption for each drawing will receive a copy of the book.

The deadline for entries is June 13, so don’t delay! Visit @yaleuniversitypress on Instagram.

The uncanny animatedness, that which strikes us in Kafka’s prose even before we are enraptured by its depths, lives everywhere in the evidence of his hand. It lives in his cursive script, in these faces and bodies and windswept horses, in these self-portraits we encounter having somehow always known he was there, staring into us, waiting to be seen.

Jonathan Lethem, author of The Fortress of Solitude

The Latest