Unmask all pretentiousness! Culture is the science of generosity.
MY INTENT is to discuss the place of FRANZ KAFKA´S works in the literary tradition and also the Nature of the troubling "Kafkaesque", refuting the not at all uncommon almost childish views of Kafka as ... a "magical realist," or a "religious mystic," or for that matter a ... "writer of Jewish parables."
WHAT IF you had a Dream of a Dream and the two of them could communicate?? That is what happens in a Franz Kafka story! My book "Kafka" analyzes Kafka's novels and short stories. This book deals primarily with the famous Kafka effect, or - the kafkaesque. And it deals with the means that create this effect. These means are largely technical. Thus, in this book, I show how Kafka uses a narratological split, split consciousness, and split Unconscious of the hero to create the Kafkaesque by a rare trick. This new book shows how Kafka became one of the most prominent artists to create and define Modernity. Kafka took part in the thrilling creation of Self-conscience of the 20ieth century, marked by a constant dialogue with Freud and his works. Self-conscience as Man knew it since St. Augustine, the Italian renaissance writers Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Montaigne, and later with the secular Romantics and Hegel swiftly developed within Modernism into something much more complex with the appearance of Freud's "Traumdeutung" in the year of 1900. And Kafka then set out to complete it all. The works of Kafka appeared as a reaction to 1.) Modern times, to 2.) his own personal alienation, and to 3.) Freud.
Kafka's answer to Modernity – to the modern condition – was astonishingly complex, but it turned out to be very accurate and accomplished right from the beginning. When other reactions to the Modern Condition, like Dada, displayed a picture of a chaotic and rebel attitude to reason and morals, Kafka, much like Rimbaud actually, showed a far more complex ability to make modern society's human-understandable itself, in a universal narrative. Kafka, in exploring the Unconscious, as explained by Freud, and in doing so using a Romantic "Ästhetik des Schwebens," is the unique discoverer of the marvels of mind, and is, in this, equal to Freud. I am trying to explain how the kafkaesque itself generates - even today, 100 years after its birth - an interrogation that scrutinizes the Freudian theory and our conception of the unique human consciousness.
Kafka's relation to Freud was somewhat like a son's relation to the father. Hence, Kafka did not acknowledge Freud's discoveries, methods, and notions as truths. But he saw them – ironically enough – as facts. And in a sense, they were. Freud's views were historical facts in their profound influence on Mind and Society the century. Kafka used Freud as part of the ( revealing ) Modern Myth. Kafka used Freud, but Kafka added on top of Freud another split to human consciousness in his literary universe. Kafka thus did not "believe in" Freud, but he was fascinated by him. Freud suited Kafka. He did not look at all to Freud to a great extent, ... did not own several books by Freud ... but he had – like many others – acquired a sort of immediate understanding of Freud's ideas through a kind of everyday osmosis. Kafka started as a writer of lyrical prose, short prose poems in the style of Goethe, Kleist, and Flaubert. But his dream was to write a novel, and it ought to be like the one Flaubert once said he wanted to write: a lovely book about nothing at all. So it happened that Kafka developed a technique for writing novels where he was extending a sole situation into a perfectly static ( i.e., nothingy ) drama displaying a struggle between conscious and unconscious. It also seems as he tried to develop the style of Tieck and the Romantics. Using his extraordinary ( perhaps autistic ) sensibility, Kafka's technique miraculously was born on one evening in 1912, writing the short story "The Verdict." The following day, he even asked his fiancée Felice for its meaning. Later, in 1912 with the writing of "The Metamorphosis" and, in 1913, the unfinished "The Trial," his technique of displaying the Kafkaesque was already full-fledged. Here he – almost FORCE by his own personal and social catastrophe - introduced a pseudo plot in a kind of pseudo novel displaying a story of a split, a struggle of a conscious instance of a person, shown as a hero-figure battling this person's OWN Unconscious. As it turned out, this battle caused a second unconscious part to appear in the universe of this fiction. ( Examples can be found in my book.) It seems that the hero-figure, devoid of his Unconscious, HAD TO develop such an unconscious to be able to handle his surrounding world, which was his original Unconscious. Here we thus are having a triadic structure and a strange meeting of two unconscious instances. This fictional condition primarily results in a double exposure of the unconscious and a strange transcendence of the Ego, which cannot easily be reflected upon since it has no equivalent in reality.
This is NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND!
As a result of this Kafka-technique, which probably was unconscious (!) to Kafka himself, we are also – apart from the nausea of double Unconscious, a kind of the self-consciousness of the Unconscious - experiencing very intense poetry displaying utter loneliness and in a framework: a sad pseudo-protest against the superpower of civil organization and law in general as well as a melancholy beauty of existence. The like of which nobody else has created: The concept of "Kafkaesque" has been created upon the experience of the works of FK by the Collective Mind, and in some way, it has extended our mode of perception. The concept is vital for both the being and the understanding of our culture and being! My questions regarding this concept, which is somewhat elusive despite its frequency and importance, are mainly two: [ 1. ]: what IS the kafkaesque? (…that is caused by this split ) And [ 2. ]: how did Kafka DO to create this, the" Kafkaesque"?
We are dealing with ideological, cultural, and psychological matters and tacit knowledge, and complicated issues concerning the ontology of fiction. Perhaps the concept of "Kafka" is an ongoing question in Modernity itself that will prevail no matter how much I - and others - keep trying to sort out the problem?....
"FELL´S POINT" at Amazon!
My English novel ( ..... under the pen-name of Bill Clactoe ) Fell´s Point
LISTEN TO CHAPTER ONE!
In Fell´s Point, Baltimore, U.S.A., two women and a man are investigating the sudden death of their friend Martha. They meet with many strange people in their search. Most remarkable - aside from the picture they get of Martha herself - perhaps is the secretness of Captain Longman, Martha´s widower, who quite suddenly starting also starts up a social club for youngsters in Fell´s Point. Surprise after surprise reveals to those who thought they knew Martha...
The Lion´s Disease
LISTEN TO CHAPTER ONE!
THE LION'S DISEASE
Kaj Bernhard Genell
Thirty-five-year-old Sam Diggerson ( the NARRATOR ) is hired as a 3rd officer on m/s Punjab of London. As soon as he is onboard and th4e ship has started on his journey to Surabaya, all of a sudden a Mrs. Williamson gets sick. One-sided blindness has hit her. But it is no ordinary disease. It turns out it stays with her and has a strange form. The blindness alternates from one side to the other side. Continuously. A lion in a cargo hatch is found to be the source. Soon, this new, horrendous sickness, which troubles Mrs. Williamson, is highly contagious. Several others on m/s Punjab get the disease, and it turns out that the whole world fears for this, The Lion's Disease . Soon the British Gov. decides to offer the crew on the unlucky ship to go to Tristan da Cunha. The vessel is not allowed to go to port anywhere. The clever captain of the ship turns this offer down. The captain, crew, and animal carers try to make the best of the situation. Soon the world, however, gets a new surprise, and something perhaps still worse to think of…..
Kaj Bernh. Genell /// The Lion's Disease .
This novel was originally written in English, for then to be translated by the author into his native Swedish idiom:
Ett stort fartyg, en Geared Bulk Carrier, - m/s Punjab - lämnar Londons hamn med, bland mycket annat, ett lejon i lasten. Inte långt efter man kommit ut till havs märker man att det grasserar en alldeles ny sjukdom ombord.
Tredjestyrman Diggerson och Kapten Stork gör under den långa färden till Surabaya sitt bästa för att rädda fartyg, besättning och hela världen från en hotande ny världsepidemi...
Human Rights Watch
EVERY DAY I listen to Chicago radio, USA, WBEZ!
ENJOY Humanistic and Positive Radio: WBEZ
And here comes ... a small Kafka QUIZ!!