The novels of Franz Kafka – in which protagonists typically find themselves trapped in surreal bureaucratic nightmares – were inspired by attempts to navigate Dundee FC’s labyrinthine ticketing system, it has emerged.
Evidence has been unearthed that Kafka, whose name has become shorthand for alienation, existential angst and absurdity, was a time-travelling football fanatic who visited the City of Discovery last month in an ultimately doomed attempt to attend several Dundee games.
Letters written by Kafka appear to show that the public toilet near the top of the Hilltown, frequently used by junkies and horny teenagers for purposes of injection and copulation respectively, is also a time portal from early-20th century Prague. It was from here that Kafka, who died in 1924, emerged hoping to take in the visit of Partick Thistle.
The celebrated Bohemian scribe explained, “I waited in the queue for the Derry and when I got to the front, the steward was like, ‘nae chance, mate. Go up to the shop and buy a ticket.’ So I walked up Provie Road, which is a cunt of a hill when you’ve just smashed through the fabric of time and space with an absinthe hangover, and there was another queue.
“Realising that even after enduring this queue I would still have to stand in a third queue back at the gate I ended up going to GJs and watching Soccer Saturday.”
Kafka’s battle with an omnipotent, unresponsive bureaucracy of the type that would later feature in his writing was not yet over, however.
“I tried to order a ticket online for the Celtic game on Boxing Day, even though the booking and delivery fees are scandalous. I got hit with this shite about not being eligible because I hadn’t attended a Category B game in the past so my name wasn’t in the database. I tried to fucking go to a Category B game! The cunts made it practically impossible even though there were thousands of empty seats. It was Kafkaesque as fuck.
“I just gave up again and decided to write The Castle. It’s about a stranger arriving in a village and struggling to gain access to the mysterious authorities who govern it from a castle atop a big, fuck-off hill. Oscar Wilde got it arse about tit when he said life imitates art.”
The letters also show that The Trial was based on a spell Kafka spent in Bell Street (“never get lifted on a bank holiday weekend”) while The Metamorphosis, in which someone wakes up transformed into a giant, grotesque insect, was inspired by a Dundee night out (“honestly, that burd was tidy in the Vu the night before”).