And while we're talking about Kafka, which we were until yesterday, how could I ignore his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis (Galtzer, ed., Franz Kafka; the Complete Stories. New York: Schocken Books, 1971, pp. 89-144).
It starts out: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a giant insect." [p. 89] Again, the master of the first sentence. But what comes after is truly magical. After inspecting what he can see of himself and wonders what has happened to himself, our hero sees hanging on the wall,
a picture which he had recently cut out of an illustrated magazine and put into a pretty gilt frame. It showed a lady, with a fur cap on and a fur stole, sitting upright and holding out the spectator a large fur muff into which the whole of her forearm had vanished.Here we have it, the metaphor for what has happened to our hero: he's vanished into himself.
Then he tries to get away from himself. He can't. He wants to forget "all this nonsense," roll over on his right side, and go back to sleep. But he can't. He keeps rolling back.
Many of Kafka's characters share an overwhelming and ultimately self-destructive desire to deny the seriousness of what is happening to them. And it's a keen perception of human nature. We see it in ourselves. It's as if by putting down on paper Kafka's showing us a side of ourself we'd like to deny we already know. It's one reason we identify so strongly with them.
Anyway, what fate could be more horrible than actually to become that which one fears the most.
What do you think about this? Can we talk about writing here? Post a comment.
Writing is, to me, an entrepreneurial activity. Entrepreneurial ideas are the life's blood of my writing. For my entrepreneurial course, Entrepreneurship on Line, go to www.hatman2.blogspot.com. For entrepreneurial real estate to www.yourstopforrealestate.com/blog