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Old 26th May 2009, 23:25   #31
beer good
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Default Re: Kafka

Thanks for the reminder, TTM. I saw Welles' Trial years ago, but I barely remember it and I've been meaning to rewatch it. But...
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The only annoying thing, which has nothing to do with the film itself, is that whoever released the DVD version decided to put a little red stamp in the corner of the screen reading The Orson Welles Collection! Goddam, why do they do that?! As if I need a constant reminder of what it is I'm watching!
Wait... what? Please tell me I'm reading that wrong. You're saying that throughout the entire black and white movie there's a red stamp in the corner? And they wonder why people download movies rather than pay for them...
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Old 26th May 2009, 23:35   #32
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Wait... what? Please tell me I'm reading that wrong. You're saying that throughout the entire black and white movie there's a red stamp in the corner? And they wonder why people download movies rather than pay for them...
It's horrendous, BG. All the way through the film I was thinking to myself that I would have to buy another clean version just to honour it.

It's this collection here. It's not a bad print, but I'd say avoid it. I would've had I known about the little red stamp.
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Old 23rd Aug 2010, 1:33   #33
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Default Re: Kafka

I read The Metamorphosis as a teenager and as far as I remember enjoyed it. Then later I tried The Trial. I was working as a bookseller for Waterstones by then and read a book by Victor Pelevin (The Life of Insects) that was described as Kafkaesque on the cover (as you point out John, a deeply pointless and irritating addition to the language!) I thought I would give Franz another go and read The Trial but I too found it pretty much incomprehensible.

Only now, reading the start of your post, do I begin to see why. This was a book that should not have been published really. It was unfinished, a work in progress. Whilst I can see why Max Brod might feel the need to bring this author to the attention of more readers I agree with what you say about the unfinished nature of the work being problematic.

Recently I purchased a copy of The Great Short Works of Franz Kafka (US Scribner translated by Joachim Neugroschel) for 50p and re-read The Metamorphosis. I enjoyed it a great deal - far more than the first time I read it. What I noticed most about the story was the relationship between Gregor and "the father". Gregor is a travelling salesman and earning most of the money for his family. The father does no work any more and is increasingly fat. It seems as if he is turning into a monster. When Gregor becomes "a monstrous vermin" his father is forced to get work as some sort of guard in a bank. He becomes uniformed and increasingly aggressive. First he injures his beetle son by shoving him through a door. Later he pelts him with apples leaving one embedded in Gregor's back. The more Gregor becomes a filthy beast the stronger and more dominant his father appears.

There is also an enduring appeal to the idea of a man transformed into a beast.

Here I am, past midnight, trying to sleep and thinking about sentient beetles being pelted with apples...To wind things up let's just say I'm gradually persuaded of the genius of Kafka. We'll just have to remain forever frustrated that he died before completing more fully the imaginative feats that became his legacy. Maybe that's what all thes kafkaesque novels are trying to do?
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Old 23rd Aug 2010, 1:38   #34
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Default Re: Kafka

Welcome, erm...Derek?

I read The Metamorphosis earlier this year, and I loved it. I was taken aback by how moving it was. I thought it was going to be cold and disturbing, but the ending kind of rips your heart out.
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Old 23rd Aug 2010, 1:48   #35
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Default Re: Kafka

Hi Bill. Life as a beetle tends to end badly in my experience. I tried to resusciate a stag beetle recently by feeding it a saucer of sugar but there was some light drizzle and the poor thing seemed to drown in sugar sollution...

Have to go to bed now. But glad to have found this site. I was reading a Bolano thread earlier on here and think you were on it.

I have a shelf here that goes like this: Pessoa, Borges, Khayam, Joyce, Bolano, Dostoevsky, Herzen, Tolstoy, Lermonotov, Zamyatin. So in my library he's in great company. Was impressed by the efforts people made to get their thoughts about him down.
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Old 23rd Aug 2010, 11:05   #36
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Default Re: Kafka

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Hi Bill. Life as a beetle tends to end badly in my experience. I tried to resusciate a stag beetle recently by feeding it a saucer of sugar but there was some light drizzle and the poor thing seemed to drown in sugar sollution...
For next time.
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Old 23rd Aug 2010, 11:22   #37
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Default Re: Kafka

I have an image in my mind now of a bloke, almost certainly heavily bearded, unwrapping the latest deceased beetly folk. A tear drops from the corner of his eye, is caught in the fuzz and hangs there glistening as he takes a micrometer from his desk drawer...

Thanks gil
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