Kafka: A Witness of One of the First International Airshows



Colored post card: "Traversée de la Manche : endroit par où est passé Blériot avant d'atterrir à Douvres" (Channel crossing: place where Blériot flew before landing at Dover) from a black and white picture, 1909-1914.When Franz Kafka described the Brescia airshow in 1909, he served as a witness of Europe’s enthusiasm for fledgling modern aviation. After a few spectacular performances, such as Blériot’s crossing of the English Channel, the conquest of the air became a sporting reality giving rise to international rivalries. Kafka’s account, which grasped the poetic aspects of the aeronautical event, was nevertheless weighed down by fears one could call prophetic, in view of the soon-to-come First World War, and the role aerial weaponry played therein.