Generation Z

Stop turning dead authors into sex symbols

‘As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a TikTok sensation.’ This is not – blessedly – how Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis begins. But almost exactly a century after his death, the Bohemian writer would be astonished to find that not only had his friend and literary executor Max Brod disobeyed his instructions and published works of his that included The Trial and The Castle, but that he had become, of all things, a social media sensation. It was reported recently that Kafka has become the unlikeliest of sex symbols. One breathless news story announced that ‘for literature-loving Gen Z-ers, the Czech novelist may as well be

Why Gen Z is turning against woke culture

The other day, in a bar in London frequented by students of the infamously ‘woke’ Goldsmiths University, I met a young white cis-male who said that the English were to blame for his inherited trauma because of their historic oppression of the Irish. The only problem was, he wasn’t Irish – he was American and so were his parents and probably grandparents. ‘Pain lasts a long time,’ he assured me. What struck me about this encounter was not that it was typical of my Gen Z generation but that it was so obviously cringe-inducing – a sort of hackneyed pick-up line. Another student at the same bar – sporting an