This terrifying tale of Joseph K, a respectable functionary in a bank who is suddenly arrested and must defend his innocence against a charge about which he can get no information, is the origin of the adjective ‘Kafkaesque’. K is never told what he is on trial for, and when he says he is innocent, he is immediately asked ‘innocent of what’? Is he perhaps on trial for his innocence? Could he have freed himself from the proceedings by confessing his guilt as a human being? “The Trial” describes a nightmare vision of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the mad agendas of totalitarian regimes.