Kafka and Dublin’s Public Transport


By Jason Michael

Bookish people get a kick out of reading. Many of them get an even bigger buzz reading a particular thing in a place that is evocative of the material they are reading. The Divine Comedy in Florence, Ulysses in Dublin, The Da Vinci Code in Paris or the Irish Independent on the toilet. You get the picture. Well I have been getting that feeling lately reading Kafka on Dublin Bus and the LUAS. Here I am in the middle of the officer’s explanation of the execution process in his In the Penal Settlement in a copy of his short stories which I started on 4 November (the same date that it’s previous owner signed its inside cover in 1972) while watching ticket officers taking names and putting people off the tram. I was wondering just how many of us, given the right pen and hi-vis jacket, would be gratified to pull the lever on the harrow or put people off the bus in the rain.

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