The Consulting Writer

aka The Frazzled Mom

He Gave Me Inspiration…I Gave Him Death

Out of curiosity, I decided to locate and watch “Franz Kafka’s It’s A Wonderful Life”, a short film by Peter Capaldi (aka the 12th Doctor). Yeah, yeah…we all know why I watched it. Thankfully it’s short and silly. SPOILERS AHEAD…


The story starts out with Franz Kafka attempting to write the first line of Metamorphosis. While trying to decide what Gregor Samsa wakes up as, Kafka’s constantly being interrupted by party noise from downstairs, a knife-selling stranger,  delivery of an insect costume (from Mrs. Hughes of Downton Abbey!), and other strange, dream-like visions.

I had a little chuckle at his attempt to write.

He woke up to find himself transformed into a giant…



But with each try, he’s interrupted in one way or another. Even Phyllis Logan (Mrs. Hughes) dropped by.mrshughes

The knife-selling man was a bit creepy. He was looking for a “friend” and had hoped maybe that friend had gone into Kafka’s room.knifeman

Finally alone, Kafka begins to write, finds a cockroach on his paper and bugpromptly smashes it with his bare hand. Eww. But it inspires him to complete his sentence and continue on with the story. At this point, I had to crack up when Kafka broke down and said:


“He gave me inspiration…I gave him death.”

Only later, after Kafka has killed the cockaroach, do we learn something rather chilling. The knife-selling man’s friend was a cockroach named “Jimny the Cockroach”. And, according to that same man, the cockroach was his conscious. Without it, he could be capable of anything (he has a lot of knives). Silly, yes. I was reminded of the Shrek Scary Stories, where Shrek is “The Babysitter” and discovers Jimny is actually the voice in Pinocchio’s head. Yeah, he doesn’t make it in that story.

When Kafka realizes his mistake, he’s nearly done for until the party from downstairs brings up jar after jar of bugs. It’s a Christmas miracle (I know…don’t roll your eyes too much, they might fall out). In the end, a silly short film that shouldn’t be taken seriously. And is most definitely not historically accurate, so don’t go into it with that in mind. Just have fun.

And now back to my own writing. Boy, did this story hit close to home. lol  🙂




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