Franz Kafka: Ein Landarzt [A Country Doctor]

(2287 words)
  • David Suchoff

Franz Kafka's “Ein Landarzt” [“A Country Doctor”, 1918] has a simple and parabolic plot: a country doctor called to help a patient by a false night alarm on a snowy evening, and whose own horses have died from “exhaustion”, discovers magical horses in his pigsty. Transported to the village of the patient, he first declares the boy healthy, then discovers a wound, after which he is forced by the villagers to lay down in bed with him. The reversal of roles proves fateful, and when the Doctor leaves the village, the horses do not follow the way back. The story ends with the Doctor in between the village and his house, unable to “reach home” as he knew it before. Central to Kafka's canon, “A Country D…

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Suchoff, David. "Ein Landarzt". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2007
[, accessed 04 October 2015.]