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LITERATURE: FRANZ KAFKA & SURREALISM

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Franz Kafka & Surrealism & Paranoid Bugs

Kafka 1


CONSPIRACY? WHAT CONSPIRACY?
Posted by Hello

The picture above is by Rene Magritte. It is a result of what surrealists refer to as the paranoid technique.
It brings to mind the writings of Franz Kafka.
In Kafka's novel THE TRIAL for example the main character is to be put on trial for a crime he is accused of committing. But he is not told what the crime is. He spends the novel wandering through a labyrinth of bureaucracy where no answers are forthcoming.

Anyway here is Part II of the poem LISTEN TO THIS, HE SAID-

Listen To This he said Part 2

God has abandoned us
God is at our beck & call
angels surround us
hovering about us
if we reach out
we could touch them
if we could really
believe in them
they watch over us
they hear our hopes
desires fears & prayers
but are powerless
to come to our aid-

Listen to this
I tell you it is important
we still live in the shadow
of dreamed mushroom clouds
growing boiling filling
the sky from horizon to horizon
a dark curtain drawn
over the sun-

Listen to this I tell you
it is important
there are those who have
all they could ever need
& they still demand more
& want to take away
from the poor
what little they have
so they can feel superiour-

Listen to this
it is important
I tell you
the Buddha sits
inside us
we are not just
lumps of flesh -

I tell you our souls are sick
neglected too long
in the name of science
in the name of sophistication
only fools country bumpkins
& village idiots
believe in such superstitions-

Listen to this
a nagging negative dwarf
squats upon our shoulders
always talking whispering
in our ear reminding us
that all of this has no point
that all of this amounts
to nothing our lives
are but a shadow play-

Listen this is important
in this New Age
they tell us everyone is happy
everyone sheds tears for the poor
its all just Karmic Justice
suck in your gut
& take it like a man
stop your whining
all our prayers are answered
all our prayers fall on deaf ears
tell all those who complain
this country is for winners
not losers & fuck-ups-

Listen to this
this is important
there are people living
on the streets
few care more concerned
about vacations in Cuba
Jamaica & Mexico
where the elite like to go
snow birds flying south
always bitching about
the weather & taxes-

Listen you must hear this
your lover is seeing someone new
You & I love are a walking cliche -



KAFKA 2


DON'T YOU HATE IT WHEN THAT HAPPENS!!!
Posted by Hello

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly stay in place and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes.

From Kaka's short story or novella The Metamorphosis -(The complete story
Translated by Edwin and Willa Muir; revised by Arthur S. Wensinger Copyright Schocken Books, Inc.
( http://www.kafka-franz.com/ )
Picture above from Authors Pictures .com
(www.authorspictures/10_Kafka_Metamorphosis.htm)


Anyway on my last post I mentioned the writer Franz Kafka so here's some bits & pieces I gleaned while surfing the net . There are a few good sites on Kafka but most of his fiction is unavailable on the net because of copywrite.
His diaries & such are available .
The only story I could find was The Metamorphosis from which I have included the excerpt above.This site also contains articles dealing with Kafka and the Bible, Jewsish Mysticism, Judaism, Anti-semitism & the Holocaust.

And as one writer says about Kafka :

" In Kafka (1883 - 1924) we have the modern mind, seemingly self-sufficient, intelligent, skeptical, ironical, splendidly trained for the great game of pretending that the world it comprehends in sterilized sobriety is the only and ultimate real one – yet a mind living in sin with the soul of Abraham. Thus he knows two things at once, and both with equal assurance: that there is no God, and that there must be God. "
–Erich Heller, Franz Kafka

And from the site The Kafka Project by Mauro Nervi
http://www.kafka.org/index.php?index

"The characters in these works fail to establish communication with others; they follow a hidden logic that flouts normal, everyday logic; their world erupts in grotesque incidents and violence. Each character is only an anguished voice, vainly questing for information and understanding of the world and for a way to believe in his own identity and purpose...

And:

"Many of Kafka's fables contain an inscrutable, baffling mixture of the normal and the fantastic, though occasionally the strangeness may be understood as the outcome of a literary or verbal device, as when the delusions of a pathological state are given the status of reality, or the metaphor of a common figure of speech is taken literally. Thus, in The Judgment, a son unquestioningly commits suicide at the behest of his aged father. In The Metamorphosis the son wakes up to find himself transformed into a monstrous and repulsive insect; he slowly dies, not only because of his family's shame and its neglect of him but because of his own guilty despair."

And from a site on Science-Fiction & Kafka
Franz Kafka (1883-1924)
http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kafka.htm


Czech-born German-speaking writer whose posthumously published novels express the alienation of 20th century man. Kafka's nightmares of dehumanization, bureaucratic labyrinths, and totalitarian society have much in common with the works of George Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949; Animal Farm, 1955...

"This shy tubercular Jew depicted the absurdity of modern life and its power structures in a series of parable like short stories and novels featuring grotesque imagery and an almost religious depth. He became an adjective - Kafkaesque - a term which encompasses the absurdity, grotesqueries and depth characteristic of his work."

Quote

It is consequently incorrect to say that I have known the words 'I love you'; I have known only the expectant stillness that should have been broken by my 'I love you', that is all I have known, nothing more.

http://www.dividingline.com/private/
For Kafka & Existentialism & more reviews of Kafka's work.

There is a good bibliography at Leni's Franz Kafka Page
http://victorian.fortunecity.com/vermeer/287/

One of the most surprising sites was one by Peter Kuper an illustrator & cartoonist
who illustrated & adapted The Metamorphosis into a comic book. There is a short film on the site of this work.

Kuper also has a rather scathing, satirical & nasty comic portrayal of George Bush -its worth a look .

at Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis adapted by Peter Kuper
www.randomhouse.com/crown/metamorphosis/

Kafka Trailer for the Country Doctor



Kafka - The Trial part one