Love stories: Far from the Madding Crowd and The Castle

I happened to watch back to back the new movie of Far From the Madding Crowd and Hanneke’s take on The Castle. Was it just the watching of them in that order that made me wonder if Kafka had written a love story?

I’ve read neither book, but understand the film versions to be scrupulous renditions of the stories. Both of them place the development of a relationship based on romantic love in the midst of the social and economic conditions that play – or attempt to play – a determining role.

Each of them constitutes rather unusual output. For Hardy, a happily-ever-after ending is atypical. For Kafka to delve into the humanity of people, which it seems to me this novel does, is equally surprising. Or does he do so in other works but it is easier to see in this one? Or is it Hanneke who adds that element, which would also be, based on my experience of the director, unlikely.

I hope to get to the books soon and maybe I will find some answers.