Read Pdf The Complete Stories – Intimatenights.co.uk

The Complete Stories The Complete Stories brings together all of Kafka s stories, from the classic tales such as The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and A Hunger Artist to shorter pieces and fragments that Max Brod, Kafka s literary executor, released after Kafka s death With the exception of his three novels, the whole of Kafka s narrative work is included in this volume penguinrandomhouseTwo Introductory parables Before the law Imperial message Longer stories Description of a struggle Wedding preparations in the country Judgment Metamorphosis In the penal colony Village schoolmaster The giant mole Blumfeld, and elderly bachelor Warden of the tomb Country doctor Hunter Gracchus Hunter Gracchus A fragment Great Wall of China News of the building of the wall A fragment Report to an academy Report to an academy Two fragments Refusal Hunger artist Investigations of a dog Little woman The burrow Josephine the singer, or the mouse folk Children on a country road The trees Clothes Excursion into the mountains Rejection The street window The tradesman Absent minded window gazing The way home Passers by On the tram Reflections for gentlemen jockeys The wish to be a red Indian Unhappiness Bachelor s ill luck Unmasking a confidence trickster The sudden walk Resolutions A dream Up in the gallery A fratricide The next village A visit to a mine Jackals and Arabs The bridge The bucket rider The new advocate An old manuscript The knock at the manor gate Eleven sons My neighbor A crossbreed A sport The cares of a family man A common confusion The truth about Sancho Panza The silence of the sirens Prometheus The city coat of arms Poseidon Fellowship At night The problem of our laws The conscripton of troops The test The vulture The helmsman The top A little fable Home coming First sorrow The departure Advocates The married couple Give it up On parables The recent so called scandalous revelations about Kafka s personal library as if turns out he read a slightly edgy quarterly of arts I began doing so in the 1960 s never stopped To read Kafka is to be carried away by the imagination of the centur The recent so called scandalous revelations about Kafka s personal library as if turns out he read a slightly edgy quarterly of arts literature prompt me to say something about his work For my Goodreads list, I suppose it must be this book, an inevitable choice but nonetheless indispensable I should add, too, that I can t really specify when I read the COLLECTED STORIES I began doing so in the 1960 s never stopped To read Kafka is to be carried away by the imagination of the century just ended, a dream facility which bodied forth core images of our changing condition, armed with new technologies but saddled with ancient hatreds fears The most famous such image, to be sure, is that of the breadwinner turned into a bug, The Metamorphosis, naturally that nightmare domestic comedy is in here But this collection also has far shorter yet likewise spot on renderings out of our developing collective unconscious, such as A Hunger Artist, everessential reading for anyone trying to following a creative calling amid the materialist hurly burly More intense distillations are served, as well, in what would come to be called flash fic But even at the length of a couple of pages or less, Kafka generates blinking terror breathtaking cultural reach, in the bloody labyrinth of A Country Doctor or the heady blind alley of On Parables At every length,s the astonishment, the rhetoric s perfectly modulated, with every correlation description thought given just the development, the finish, needed to serve the vision in play Kafka insists on the primacy of that vision, never flashy, his good judgment eliminating anything that might distract, might suggest artist mattersthan art The cult of personality that s grown up around him, over the last few decades, is one of the most galling travesties of our literary culture In Kafka s stories, the lengthiest to the most abbreviated, we are reminded that even our corrupted shit stained times may still be cleansed by the outflow of humanity s purest storytelling impulses The idea that there exists such thing as a must read book is one of the great fallacies diluting literature To judge a reader unfavourably because a certain book is not on his or her shelf, rather than to praise and learn from the idiosyncratic choices to be found there instead, is to wish for a literature of bland homogeneity To label a book must read is to condemn it to being misunderstood And when that book is by the strange, reclusive, haunted black humourist Franz Kafka, and is given The idea that there exists such thing as a must read book is one of the great fallacies diluting literature To judge a reader unfavourably because a certain book is not on his or her shelf, rather than to praise and learn from the idiosyncratic choices to be found there instead, is to wish for a literature of bland homogeneity To label a book must read is to condemn it to being misunderstood And when that book is by the strange, reclusive, haunted black humourist Franz Kafka, and is given to students to pour over with grave seriousness for hints of political allegory or prophecy, the misunderstanding is so pronounced as to be, in itself, Kafkaesque All those young heads bowed over Metamorphosis, trying their damnedest to see in this giant bug the wisdom of the sage, when the sage himself must surely have been shaking his own head in disbelief at the balls out irreverence of it, maybe even wondering, Is it too ridiculous It s as if some high official had ordained that a sacred text be read and reported on by all those seeking admission to the Castle, but when the applicants receive that text they find in it the trivial rantings of a madman So, desperately, unwilling to crack a smile lest the Castle feel itself mocked, they eke out some tenuous thread of analysis and miss the sacredness, AKA the humour.In speaking of Kafka, Milan Kundera quotes Czech poet Jan Skacel Poets don t invent poems The poem is somewhere behind It s been there for a long time The poet merely discovers itHe goes on to say Indeed, if instead of seeking the poem hidden somewhere behind the poet engages himself to the service of a truth known from the outset he has renounced the mission of poetry And it matters little whether the preconceived truth is called revolution or dissidence, Christian faith or atheism, whether it isjustified or less justified a poet who serves any truth other than the truth to be discovered which is dazzlement is a false poet At his best, Franz Kafka served this truth to be discovered , this dazzlement , as devoutly as any writer I know of This is his legacy freedom Or what Kundera calls radical autonomy When occasionally, to the delight of the scholars, he bogs himself down in allegory In the Penal Colony , Investigations of a Dog , to some extent A Hunger Artist , he fritters away his gift on grand ideals But when in a moment of sheer wilful abandon his imagination takes over and propels him like the country doctor unable to control his horses into the unknown, he is unassailable A Country Doctor is five of the most kaleidoscopic and dizzying pages in history the horses faces lolling like cardboard cutouts in the bedroom window at the end are Kafka s own rebellious muses laughing at him as he curls up in bed with his wound His Hunter Gracchus is a journeyer from beyond, washed up by mistake in the quotidian world The Knock at the Manor Gate , The Test , The Helmsman everywhere there are things in flux on either side of the boundary of dreams Unfinished stories abound, because Kafka does not do finished Even the near perfect Metamorphosis ends with a non ending, and frequently his neatest stories are his most facile Kafka s gift is an inspired one, and inspiration, as we know, doesn t necessarily wait around while we add the finishing touches These fragments are seeds, or bombs, and their author a wily rebel possessed by the Imp of the Perverse, unsure himself whether he is a gardener or a terrorist Just, whatever you do, don t study them Live these stories or leave them alone More dead readings will only clutter our view of them.Fact Kafka is funny.Fact He s not for everyone.Fact He writes to the dictates of his heart, not to preach politics or predict the future And if you don t get him, no one but the most pretentious snob is going to judge you for it There are no must read books The Vulture A vulture was hacking at my feet It had already torn my boots and stockings to shreds, now it was hacking at the feet themselves Again and again it struck at them, then circled several times restlessly around me, then returned to continue its work A gentleman passed by, looked on for a while, then asked me why I suffered the vulture I m helpless, I said When it came and began to attack me, I of course tried to drive it away, even to strangle it, but these animals are very strong, it was about to spring at my face, but I preferred to sacrifice my feet Now they are almost torn to bits Fancy letting yourself be tortured like this, said the gentleman, I ve only got to go home and get my gun Could you wait another half hour I m not sure about that, said I, and stood for a moment rigid with pain Then I said, Do try it in any case, please Very well, said the gentleman, I ll be as quick as I can During this conversation the vulture had been calmly listening, letting its eye rove between me and the gentleman Now I realized that it had understood everything it took wing, leaning far back to gain impetus, and then, like a javelin thrower, thrust its beak through my mouth, deep into me Falling back, I was relieved to feel him drowning irretrievably in my blood, which was filling every depth, flooding every shore Around me things sink away like fallen snow, whereas for other people even a little liqueur glass stands on the table steady as a statue 4.5 stars.There are stories in this collection and these were by far my favorite kind that clutch and fumble and scrabble across the surface of your mind, entities so eerily misshapen and askew that you don t want to let them in Grimacing and winking, they slither in anyway Before you know it, everything you thought solid and real begins to fall away Around me things sink away like fallen snow, whereas for other people even a little liqueur glass stands on the table steady as a statue 4.5 stars.There are stories in this collection and these were by far my favorite kind that clutch and fumble and scrabble across the surface of your mind, entities so eerily misshapen and askew that you don t want to let them in Grimacing and winking, they slither in anyway Before you know it, everything you thought solid and real begins to fall away Reality recedes with a measured, merciless tread Its deliberate pace only intensifies your sense of dread You feel horribly lost and unnerved, yet the world continues to retreat, indifferent to your mounting distress Your cries are in vain It does not falter.You wind up adrift in a realm of blurred, hazy, surreal confusion Left to fend for yourself, you experience a strangeseasickness on landas you travel deeper into bizarre, uncertain terrain You finally lose your bearings entirely disorientation swallows you whole And then, just when you ve given up hope that anything will ever make sense again, it hits you reality didn t leave you behind at all, it merely sloughed off the thin veneer of coherence we tend to obscure it with Kafka dexterously peeled back this fa ade, stripping away our familiar, comforting lies and deceptions they re scattered pitifully over the floor, where their glaring inadequacy is impossible to deny They are futile, meager, and ridiculous, and yet also heartbreakingly, endearingly human.Not only did Kafka reveal many of the ways we distort the world around us, he also had quite a bit of fun examining ways in which we contort our very selves We bend back on ourselves in our desperate attempts to force our baffling existence to have some sort of ultimate meaning We scuttle along deformed, wracked with denial and guilt, smiling vacantly, expectantly Far too frequently, these inner and outer contortions are also how we manage to fit in with our fellow human beingsIt occurred to me that perhaps my long body displeased him by making him feel too small And this thought although it was late at night and we had hardly met a soul tormented me so much that while walking I bent my back until my hands reached my kneesSometimes, in our efforts to connect with others, we re even forced to resort to hideous,painful contortions, such as steps or wordsGood god, he fucking gets it.The really brilliant thing about Kafka is that,often than not, after experiencing all this nightmarish absurdity, one ends up laughing right along with him at the underlying insanity of it all His mischievous agility, unpredictable playfulness, and delightfully skewed impressions tinge many of these tales with a surprising amount of satisfyingly dark humor And, after all, isn t a wicked sense of humor one of the best ways to deal with the exasperating inscrutability we often come up against in this crazy, mixed up world.Overall, reading Kafka kind of feels like taking a trip along a M bius strip You seem to fade in and out of reality You start off walking on the floor, and then suddenly, you re certain you re lurching across the ceiling M bius strips, however, are ingeniously twisted they actually only have one side Strictly speaking, there is no up or down, in or out So too with Kafka you feel off balance, bewildered and queasy by the crumpled deformities you encounter as you travel through a gnarled, grotesque landscape, but there s something strangely familiar underneath it all, something you can t quite put your finger on.Then you end up exactly where you began, and you finally understand your journey You realize that you haven t been going in and out of reality, but that reality has instead been presented in a disturbingly crooked, yet somehow fartruthful, manner.Momentarily freed from your habitual defenses, you catch a glimpse of the elusive face of the world as it is Welcome home I think it s a little mistake to judge Kafka considering only The Metamorphosis There s a whole different view on things in some of his stories You re not going to find a nice, warm, fuzzy, Care Bear kind of book that line made sense in my mind But some of his stories do show another side of him I personally like the psychological twisted, complicated, claustrophobic and absurd ones with a weird sense of humor yes, he can be funny and infinite interpretations But that s just me.I like I think it s a little mistake to judge Kafka considering only The Metamorphosis There s a whole different view on things in some of his stories You re not going to find a nice, warm, fuzzy, Care Bear kind of book that line made sense in my mind But some of his stories do show another side of him I personally like the psychological twisted, complicated, claustrophobic and absurd ones with a weird sense of humor yes, he can be funny and infinite interpretations But that s just me.I liked most of his stories, a few names come to mind I don t know why and in no specific order A Hunger Artist , a disturbing yet beautiful story about an alienated artist In the Penal Colony Eleven sons and its poetic descriptions A dream loved its disquieting atmosphere is that making sense The Great Wall of China A Report to an Academy fresh air The Problem of Our Laws that gives you a feeling of despair, because you find yourself being governed by people noble people you ll never meet with their rules that you re not supposed to understand A Fratricide kind of shocked me The Cares of a Family Man , short stories like that leave you thinking about what the heck he was writing about.Kafka is a complicated writer, that s true But the difficult ones often help you to see ordinary things from another perspective And yes, that s not always sunshine and rainbows, but that s the other inevitable side of life He mostly described awful, absurd, stressful, weird and confusing situations that human beings experience on daily basis Sadly, I can relate to his labyrinths of endless bureaucracy A lot.This writer is not for everyone And there s nothing wrong with that In my humble opinion, he was a man who was able to write, among many other things, something like Before the Law a parable that appears in one of my favorites novels such a familiar feeling So my connection with him was instantaneous It s a shame that mostly happens with people that died a couple or hundreds of years ago No Lake House around here, huh God, I hated that movie Anyway, Before the Law is a short and great example of one of the many sides a Kafkaesque universe has.Feb 23, 14 Also on my blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *