All Kinds of Comments!

Here we post comments, discussions, questions, etc. which we think might be interesting, thought-provoking, and/or amusing for all of us. We don't add the sender's name unless we are asked to do so. If you don't want your message(s) to be published here, let us know!


29 May 1997

Excuse me that I have to correct your fault of the origin of Kafka. The correct word for the region, where Kafka lived and worked, is "bohemia". While existing in several languages as an similar expression, only the chech translation for bohemia is "chechia". The So called "Chech Repuplik" of today isn't only containing the region of bohemia, but also the region called "moravia" and a part of a region called "Slask", however , the expression Chechia stands quasi synonymus for the actual political state.
The conclusion of this fact is, that the only non-political and non-nationalist expression is "bohemian author", what in Germany doesn`t means "german", but chech means "member of the Chech People", because chech is an expression for people and bohemia is the name of the region, historical home of several peoples and cultures.
I share your opinion, that culture today indeed means World-culture.

Greetings from Germany !

C.Bayer

27 May 1997

Subject: the irony of laughter

I thoroughly enjoyed your page, and i personally think that Kafka is one of the funniest writers of any century. Two especially funny stories i recall are the "The Giant Mole" and the "The Little Woman." Though I read them a while back, just thinking about them still elicits a chuckle from me. His irony and absurdity are unequaled.

29 March 1997

Gustavo Artiles writes:
Thank you for this opportunity.
I have been reading K (and most of what has been written about him) all my life, and I consider him as one of the two most influential writers of this century; the other one is of course James Joyce.

Now, there is a lot interpretation and exegesis about K which is really not essential to appreciate his stories. There are a few basic facts that conditioned his choice of subject and imagery. 1) His constant fear of becoming ill and of dying. This is the basic fact behind The Trial. He is simply asking why it is that we are here, having to suffer a great deal of injustices throughout our life (having to constantly defend ourselves from a veiled accusation whose exact nature is kept secret from us), and then have to die (be executed). 2) His difficult relationship with his father. This is the case of Metamorphosis: if I am considered so worthless by my own father, then I might as well be an insect. How does life look like to an insect that has to live with his relatives?

K' s technique consists mostly in drawing the final consequences of people's attitudes toward a situation or another person. The result is a weird, unreal picture. But this picture is painted with extreme realism and a lot of detail, in a language that is very simple and direct. That is K s style and that is its success.

This has been a very brief and oversimplified view of his writing, but a careful reading will show how well it works.

27 March 1997

To me, Franz Kafka is the ultimate human.

When I first read the diaries and short stories of Kafka I felt as if I was reading one of my diaries that I had written years and years ago and had forgotten about. I definitely felt as if I were reading my thoughts and feelings.

No words that I write can do justice to Franz Kafka. He was an extraordinarily perceptive person who wrote about the very most basic and pure thoughts, feelings, and fears of humans.

I find that when I ask someone if they know of, or have read Kafka, the most common piece of writing that he is associated with is his "Metamorphosis." Most always, the people who have read "Metamorphosis" and almost nothing else of Kafka's, either in a college course or on their own, are revulsed by the story and the author because of the story's description of Gregor Samsa's change. They seem to identify Kafka with putrid insect monsters. Perhaps a published version of this story needs a better introduction to Kafka's relationship with his father to let people know that the book is not a disturbed writer's attempt at a horror story. The "Metamorphosis", in my opinion, is an incredible analogy of how Kafka felt that his father really saw him. Their relationship was such that when his father looked at him, his father's expression was that of someone who loathed the rotting insect in front of him.

I think it is interesting that Kafka is misunderstood. I think that he writes with the most clarity of anyone I have read yet.

10 March 1997

I'm interested in the literature of Franz Kafka.
So your web pages is good for me.
But I can't read English texts.
Because I'm a Japanese.
Bye bye.

5 March 1997

In my reading of "The Trial", I have formed an opinion aboyt what "the trial" really stands for. So far I have not yet found any other opinions that seem to share my opinion, but perhaps you know of some. I see "the trial" that Joseph K. is going through as a symbol of his mental illness. The reason all his case relations are in the attic because that is a symbol of their workings going on in his head. He denies it, but he is actually searching for help. He is slowly going insane and he needs help. He denies it, because he does not realise that he needs this help. However, his family does and that is why they set him up with the lawyer. They are trying to help him solve his problem. When the lawyer wants to take his healing more slowly than Joseph wants to go and therefore he seeks out other help.
The business man sees this problem, and recommends his visiting Titorelli, the painter. Being in the business world, this client of Joseph's understands the stress that is involved with his job and can see that K. wants to solve his problem quickly. When he visits the painter, he sees it as an oppurtunity to fix his problem in the way that he wants to. He is offered the chance to heal himself but always being at the risk of having another fall back to madness. His other option, which may take less enervy now but draws out over time, is to heal him for the most part, but never "really" solve his problem. He will be in a preliminary state of madness. Joseph K. sees neither as what he is looking or, which is a simple, quick fix.
When he procrasinates his decision between choosing between the lawyer and the painter, his condition worsens and worsens. As it does, he thinks that he is getting better and better. Then, when he least expects it, he goes insane beyond the point of return and eventually kills himself because he knew not what he was doing.
It was in this state of madness that he saw the women come onto him, the asst. manager as his enemy, and no one really trying to help him out. He saw himself above all others, but in truth, he was slipping out of society and into a state of denial. This is why he went insane and killed himself.
I appreciate any information you can give me on my opinion.

24 February 1997

For those of your page visitors, who would like to see (not only to read) how Kafka, his family and his friends looked like, you may include a link to my F. Kafka Photo Album

11 February 1997

When will this finaly be done???????????????????????

23 January 1997

hello everybody!
just a question : why is F.KAFKA so important ?

10 January 1997

I love Kafka! Read just about everything he ever wrote, including his correspondence with his father. There is one story though, in my estimation, in which he failed to achieve his surreal, hypnotic spellbound effect on the reader. the story is 'Amerika'. Perhaps, because he never visited this country and so much is the result of his acquired literary knowledge of the US, it lacks realism. Also, he went too far in the other direct with his protagonist in this work. He's a real person with a real name. Which makes him ordinary. All of the eerie mystery of novels like 'The Castle' (God did I wanna find who that Klamm guy was) or The Trial is gone. I quickly lost interest the character. Comments?

02 January 1997

Franz Kafka has given me the Quote. The Quote is from "The Hunter Gracchus". It is at the end of the piece and sums up my entire theory of life:
"I am here, more than that I don't know, furthur than that I don't know. My ship has no rudder and is driven by the winds that blow in the undermost regions of death."
He is an awesome writer. Their is insight in all of his stories.

23 December 1996

I have built The Samsa House at:
moo.hawaii.edu 999 which is the Association for Theatre in Higher Education's site (ATHEMoo)
This is an experiment in theatre where people can go, put on a costume and improvise a version of the Metamorphosis. each costume also contains 28 lines of text that are generated when the player types 'read ie 'read Mother or mom or Mrs.Samsa will generate one of her lines. then the player can 'say' their own lines and improvise the play throughout the house.
Please visit, try it out. If there is more than one computer at your disposal try a group improv. There are seven costumes in the closet. Let me know what you think.
I have created a website to orient interested actors, thinkers, adventurers and modernists.

14 December 1996

For a long time I kept a personal diary day-by-day; then I read the short stories of Franz Kafka. From that time I realized it was no longer necessary to record the events of my life. All that was needed was to open his book and I could read the story of my life.
Kafka has meant more to me than any other person who has lived on this planet. I have breathed the air of Prague and have walked all the corrodors of the Castle.
Kafka changes us all into golem.

15 November 1996

I LOVE Kafka !!!

03 November 1996

Hi,
My son bought me a Kafka pin in Prague. It was very small, just his picture and name. I loved it. Unfortunately, I lost it. I'm searching everywhere and asking everyone if they know where I can get one in the United States. Any ideas? Your help, as Kafka fanatics, would be greatly appreciated.

01 November 1996

I was very pleased when I came across your Kafka-Homepage. Especially the 'creative writing section' ("Obituary for Gregor Samsa") seems very useful to me. I am going to teach a Kafka class for Japanese Graduate students next year and although Kafka and his work are relatively well known in Japan employing such didactical devices like the ones provided by you may enlarge the student's enthusiasm significantly.

18 October 1996

Why do you put original Kafka texts on the web at all? Doesn't make sense to me. Why not a Bibliography with links to Kafka researchers?

11 September 1996

Maybe, though, the point about the use of the German language deserves amplification. Kafka would indeed have been fluent in both Czech and German. But when he grew up, Czech was still for most purposes only a spoken language; Hasek's 'Good Soldier Svejk' was one of the very first books to be written in Czeck. And, right until the 1930s German was a language widely used by middle-class Czechs when any formality was required.

27 August 1996

Hi folks,
Of possible curiosity....
Our label released the soundtrack to a stage reworking of "The Trial". It was written and performed by Shinjuku Thief and called "The Scribbler". Is this info of any use?
The production - a minimalist reworking, focusing on location, texture and the like - is under revision. The reworked version should be on tour next year some time.

11 July 1996

I particularly enjoyed reading the catalog of Kafka's library, though I couldn't exactly say why.

28 June 1996

Salutations! I read the posted obituaries and thought that they were good, and now I have written somthing for you. It is a report of a meeting called in the town hall by the Mayor. And to anyone who is interested in Franz, if you havent already read "The Trial" ("der procesezz" in german, or somthing like that, I don't speak german obviously) it's amazing. By the way my name is Chris Matheson and I live in Souris,Prince Edward Island, Canada and I'm 15 years old. Without futher delay, here it is.

I have called this meeting to dismiss some of the rumors about the death of Gregor Samsa. It seems that you, my townspeople have been decived, by these borders at the house of Mr. Samsa. I would ask for quiet please, now most likely you have heard these lies when drunken in the taverns, vaunts of these disgusting mouths (points at the borders, all three are present), but I am stupdified at how you could actualy belive them? Have our schools taught you to be such idiots as to belive these men, who most likely have conceived this trick for their laughter. They belive that you are idiots. Look how they smile and talk with each other, they are talking about you! But the most shame goes to our own paper for helping to stoke these rumors, did you not realize that they would be read in every other town as a joke? I know that there are people in this hall that do not belive the lies you have published and are ashamed at placing so much faith in us as to move here and work in our offices ane factories, how many more do you think will come when they know that they are run by fools who believe every passing story. Please quiet, you do not believe me then listen, at the regional meeting two days ago I was forced to leave, yes I was laughed out. I could not bear the shame to be the mayor of this town and that is why at the end of this meeting I must give my resignation.
Now let me tell those who have not heard, let me tell them what you belive.
You belive that one morning in the house of Mr. Samsa, Gregor was "posessed" and underwent a change of form into a beetle or a "crreeepy crrawwlerrr". Oh so scarry. Then later that same morning his boss came for him and saw him in his new form, yes and you belived him, even though he is currently in our hospital for a mental illness. Gregor hid in the basement hiding under the sofa and eating any small cats or animals to keep alive, in perticular Fraulein Averstiens cat who was yesterday found in the ditch by the lower road (Greta leaves the room crying), see how much pain these stories have cause this poor grieving family. And through all these posessions and cat eating demons, you would have me belive Mr. and Mrs. Samsa kept the door closed and sought no help. Then one day Gregor found a way out to terrorise the family, so Mr. Samsa threw apples at him, until one imbedded in his thick skin and drove him back to his room. Keeping his escape route ready, he waited. Until he found the perfect oprotunity to sneak away after dinner when sweet Greta was practicing her violin. Gregor rushed out and atacked her, drove the family away from him and the borders also, then he had control of the room, and if his motive was escape he could have left then, so why did Gregor atempt to stay until he was driven back by Mr. Samsa? Why indeed, for the simple reason that this is no more than a lie. (A man stands up) Lie indeed Mr. Mayor? Then why did we see the giant cockaroach being taken out of the house and burried in the woods under the large apple tree?. You poor fool, although I do not understand what this means, it most certainly does not mean that Mr. Gregor Samsa was transformed into this creature. My most logical theory is that after Gregor died his room was left unkept, because the maid knew that the family could not bear to go in it (for that is where Gregor died) and left it unkept without the family knowing. This untidness left room for vermin to fester, and, out of these conditions the giant cockaroach was formed. I issue the charge that the stories of posession are the doings of the borders, in anger, for being kicked out of their lodgings by Mr. Samsa.
I would like to say a few words about the honest man whose memory you have slandered. Mr. Samsa was an ideal citizen, he worked hard, had great respect for his family, Gregor rarely drank, and always tried to pay off his debts and those of his family. You all know by now of the great debt that had accumulated since Mr. Samsa the elder fell sick, Gregor took it upon himself to pay it off, and this greatest love caused him the greatest stress also, and under this stress he took sick, and sadly, died. Townspeople, Gregor's death is a verry tragic event for this town, for all who knew and loved Gregor, and most especialy, for his family.
That is all that I have to say except for one last wish as your Mayor, I wish that you will please donate some money for the family in Gregor's memory. Thank you.

10 April 1996

1. Was heißt eigentlich Kafka ist kein "German" author? Er ist wohl ein deutscher Autor, da er auf deutsch geschrieben hat - so einfach ist das. Es gibt übrigens auch Autoren aus dem 17. und 18. Jahrhundert, die deutsche Autoren sind, obwohl es ja noch nicht einmal Deutschland gab. Ich denke, die Sprache ist letzlich hierfür ausschlaggebend. Natürlich ist es von großer Bedeutung für einen Autor, sich in einer Minderheitensprache auszudrücken (vgl. Deleuze/Guattari), aber gerade das prägt ihn besonders.
2. zur (deutschsprachigen) Biographie Kafkas: Ich bevorzuge Herrmann Kafka mit doppel-r und doppel-m. Kafkas Vater selbst hat seinen Vornamen auf dreierlei Weise geschrieben, aber keine ist annähernd so patriarchalisch, sic passend! Übrigens könnte man bereits bei den biographischen Angaben herausstellen, daß Kafka nicht bloß so bei der Arbeiter-Unfall-Versicherung arbeitete, sondern daß dies seinen Lebensrhythmus ganz eigentümlich mitbestimmte. Tagsüber Arbeit, abends kurze Pause und nachts unermüdliches Schreiben an somnambulen Texten. Eine Biographie besteht nicht nur aus Fakten, man sollte Sie der Person angemessen "anstimmen"! Ob Brod Kafkas Werke gegen seinen Willen herausgebracht hat, wäre zu überdenken. Fest steht, daß Kafka ihn um die Vernichtung verschiedener Werke nach seinem Tode gebeten hat; fest steht aber auch, daß Brod dies von Anfang an abgelehnt hat und Kafka sich dennoch niemand anderen gesucht hat, der seine Bitte ausführt. Vielleicht aus Berechnung. Ansonsten fällt mir gerade kein Kommentar ein, aber ich werde mal wieder vorbeischauen.

The writer refers to an older text we initially had on our intro-page:

To call Kafka a "German" author would be in contradiction to some historical facts. The city he lived in, for example, even though part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, was and is Czech. And although he wrote in German and made a strong impact on German-language literature, he made at least the same impact on English-language and French literatures. This is only the tip of the iceberg. So, because Kafka belongs to the World rather than to one country, we decided to use the international language of the Internet, English. Wherever we can, we will provide translations, too: into German, into French, into Russian, into Japanese... (I guess we could use some help). The same for the Kafka-texts: even though we always use the German original texts, we try to provide at least an English translation.


Constructing Kafka
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It's up to you now.
Last updated: 10 June 1997
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