I briefly read ‘Investigations Of A Dog And Other Creatures’ by Franz Kafka; I think that he was demonstrating satire by exaggerating a point that his canine protagonist was making about the availability of food: “Life is hard, the Earth is mean.” I thought this phrase was humourous because it over-exaggerated a point about the dog’s luckless chances of being fed, despite the situation being grim, for the dog.

What Kafka’s Stories have, rather, is a grotesque and gorgeous and thoroughly modern complexity. Kafka’s Humour is not only neurotic but anti-neurotic. ## David Foster Wallace

I think {Joseph Epstein} misses the boat on Kafka’s Humour which is subtle, pointed. ## David L Uln

I think that both these quotes suggest that Kafka’s humour is well-hidden but also meaningful, it’s when his stories about bugs and depressed dogs are depressing in itself, so as a writer how would I know if a sentence I wrote was too blunt or could pass as hilarious on it’s own? For as long as write about short situations that are painful but a little ridiculous, would at least several have a chance of passing as comic relief?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mark Baker, Thomo, Galastel, JP Chapleau, Ken Mohnkern Mar 16 '18 at 12:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Great question, but it's still opinion based. Humor is subjective. Go study. Read more Kafka, read other funny authors, read blogs on writing funny stuff. – FFN Mar 18 '18 at 17:06
  • If you want to expand the final paragraph into a question, we'll consider re-opening. – Neil Fein Mar 20 '18 at 2:24

Read a lot and write a lot - that's the most basic advice you can get for any question about "How can I become a better writer?".

It's important to understand that you need practice to get better. Writing is no different than any sport or other hobby/profession you may pick up. Reading diverse genres authors helps to get a broader view and to better understand what works and what doesn't work - especially in regards to what works for you and what does not work for you.

Therefore the answer to your question is quite easy: if you want to get better at writing humour you should focus on reading multiple authors that are trying to specifically incorporate humour into their writing. If you've identified Kafka as a satirist that you find interesting then that's great - go ahead and read some of his works.

But don't try too hard to be like Kafka or you will end up as a mere copy of his style. Try to identify other authors with differing styles to get a feeling for what your personal style is and how you want to write. Reading Kafka may help unispired comedians, but it's only a small part of what makes a successful comedian.

At the same time you should regularly try to get feedback from others about your progress in this regard. Critique circles and feedback websites can help you with this.

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