#19 / Editorial

Discreet and fundamental, so goes the fiction in K. For it is to fiction that the magazine owes its name, its letter of guardianship, its number – to Kafka’s initial – but above all to that of several of his characters who wander around the threshold of hostile laws and places to create the archetype of the Western Jew who has not finished surveying the European territories. From the twentieth to the twenty-first century, with Kafka, there is only one step, a step that does not straddle but rather moves, projects, and anticipates. Because, as dark as it is, fiction illuminates. It shines its light on areas that reportage or feature articles, history and statistics do not always reach, areas that are softer, tiny shifts in society that gradually change the focus, create gaps, and profile “forests of symbols” between the lines, where a single tree provides food for thought. And always obliquely, because it is better when you tell a story, to do it without even thinking. And it is not the least of the merits of fiction to hold this “without thinking” approach like a note, all the way through, to hold it without forcing, it is even the grace of fiction to manage to do so. It is in any case this kind of fiction that we would like to welcome in K. No didactic or edifying fictions, no short stories full of messages, but stories that carry the questioning like sounds or shadows. And so, little by little, in K., fiction will make its nest.

A month ago, we published Gilles Rozier’s short story, Undergrowth. This week, we republish the short stories of Mona El Khoury, Marianne Rubinstein and Nathalie Azoulai, published the previous months: Three fully contemporary texts that unfold on various territories and encode each in its own way the spirit of K. It is to this plural and polyglot encoding that we would like to invite all the writers of Europe so that K. is also a space that unleashes imagination, anxiety, humor and language.

“But why make yourself more Jewish than you are? You’re lucky not to have to carry that kind of name around; it just opens the door to anti-Semitic digs. And honestly, who really wants to be Jewish in France these days?”

“The three of them are at Paris’ Gare du Nord on a cold morning: the Father, the Mother, and the Child. The Child was going to England, for a vacation of language learning.
It’s February. If you can’t ski, what else is there to do? …” >>>

“At the dawn of a new century or was it a millennium? — we don’t know, Kate Stevenson found a large metal box on a beach. Had she gone to explore the shores of the Baltic, the Caspian or the Adriatic? The story doesn’t say. She might have been just walking on a beach in Cornwall, a few miles from her home.” >>>

With the support of:

Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.