The Statue of Franz Kafka, the first to commemorate the author in his native city, depicts the author in a scene from his early short story, “Description of a Struggle.”
The scene reads, “And now–with a flourish, as though it were not the first time–I leapt onto the shoulders of my acquaintance, and by digging my fists into his back I urged him into a trot. But since he stumped forward rather reluctantly and sometimes even stopped, I kicked him in the belly several times with my boots, to make him more lively. It worked and we came fast enough into the interior of a vast but as yet unfinished landscape.”
In the statue, Kafka himself takes the place of the narrator, while a gigantic, empty suit takes the place of the unnamed acquaintance. It is surreal and strange, just how Kafka would have liked it.
Installed by sculptor Jaroslav Róna in 2003, the statue sits in a small square on Dušní Street in Prague’s ancient Jewish Quarter, the neighborhood where Kafka lived, worked, and wrote. He even lived on this very street, at number 27. Róna’s statue was the first to ever honor Kafka in the city he called home, 80 years after his death.