I haven’t read Kafka in a while, at least not until this morning. I don’t think there are any authors in whose life and work I’m more interested, and I used to read his short stories all the time. I have the complete compilation of his stories, which includes all of his known works minus the few novels that he published or started (one of which I’ve read). That was The Trial, which is about a guy named K (who I think it’s safe to assume is essentially Kafka himself) who wakes up one morning to find himself being arrested for a crime he can’t remember committing.
Jemand musste Josef K. verleumdet haben, denn ohne dass er etwas Böses getan hätte, wurde er eines Morgens verhaftet.
That’s some good stuff. It’s not an intrigue about how he eventually uncovers this big conspiracy of memory erasement or anything like that; rather, it’s an expression of the helplessness Kafka experiences in his interactions with the bureaucracy. K. can never figure out who he’s supposed to see or what he’s been convicted of, but eventually (spoiler alert) is killed for an indiscernible reason. Actually that’s not a spoiler at all if you’ve ever read any Kafka. Some of my favorite short stories of his are In the Penal Colony, of course The Metamorphosis, The Great Wall of China, and A Hunger Artist, among many others. Those especially, though, are all fantastic examples of Kafka’s tendency to represent his own feelings of isolation and separateness from the rest of humanity. I just read one where the narrator is a bridge, sitting alone stretched across two cliffs for ages, when this traveler comes along and destroys him without a word, sending him to his rocky death. Classic Kafka. I love how accepting Kafka is of defeat; so many of his stories end with the narrator dying quietly, becoming less of a burden on his peers and/or family. Why am I drawn to these stories? I hope I don’t find out.
Other news: I’m trying to finish every SNES game I have (14) before I buy any more. Last night I succeeded at completing Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers after trying the final Megazord battle about twenty times. I had been writing down the level passwords in my notebook, and decided to just get it done. Here’s proof (the game’s one “cutscene”, where the five rangers transform into the Megazord)
Oh yeah, and I spooned my roommate Justin last night while he was spooning his girlfriend Melody. Thus, I am King Spoon. Bow before me presently. And then leave my dominion.