Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Let's go frantic about KAFKA!

One of our reading assignments we had in our "English" class was to read Kafka-"Metamorphosis".    An ebook version  is available just by clicking on the highlighted title.  Read this for yourself.  You may agree with me as the first time that I read this science fiction writing of Kafka it was a very painful read.  What I meant by painful was it was rather long and drawn out.  I found it to be rather wordy and descriptive and somewhat too slow for my attention span at times.  But, I was able to lighten things up by supplementing the reading with a visual interpretation that I had looked up using YouTube.  
You will find that with the reading and the visual that I used as a supplement that there were a few details that may have been changed.  I think the person that did the visual version is "Carlos Atanes", an independent filmmaker.  He did a pretty good job in his interpretation I feel.  You may agree or not.
The purpose in reading Kafka-"The metamorphosis" was so that we could go over it in class and do a literary analysis and rhetorical analysis of his work, actually a synthesis of Metamorphosis and the film X-men.  The focus in the class seemed to have been distracted by life during this assignmnet.  "Life on life's terms".  Our countries "Presidential Election" hit home for everyone in our class as it was a historical time and it seemed as if politics and life views encapsulated our brains for days.  By the time our class actually got around to reviewing Kafka's work, it was as if the flame was barely there in the class, what happened?  Our instructor had to break it down for the class.  I think I was expecting something different from the class.  A group analysis that would bring to light something of a deeper interpretation of the book.  It's always so much more fun to learn when everyone is participating.  Not to have any sort of expectation would be a good policy.  
What it seemed that I got out of the book was that the Protagonist named Gregor found himself changing into something other than human.  Over time it was not only his personality that changed, but his whole being.  Why this was happening could be the fact that his family was at one time a very well to do family and fell under hard times.  This caused the family dynamics to shift from Gregor's father being the bread winner to Gregor manning the reins in becomming the bread winner and sole supporter of the family until one day he becomes sick.  The sickness that he becomes infested with is recognized by his family, but they show very little compassion for his situation as he was expected to perform and deliver services to provide for the family that of his mother, father, sister and various housekeeping help.
When outsiders of the family become aware of Gregor's handicap the father is shameful of his son or it could be that he is ashamed even of himself for allowing such atrosity to happen.  The father then takes out his anger and frustrations on Gregor who has become powerless and in need of help which none other than his sister seem to provide.  The family manages to make their own wages all the while Gregor remains confined to the home mainly in his small room where his sister would deliver scraps of foods and tidy up through Gregor slow path to death from his sickness.  All the while his sister slowly become resentful as each day passes on.  As she herself is transforming from a young girl to that of a young fruitful woman who chooses not to cary on the burden of caretaker for her older brother who has become fully dependent on her and the family at this time.  
All the while    


Author/Ethos:  Mr. Franz Kafka  "Everybody knows the face of Franz Kafka, whether they have read any of his works or not.  And that brooding face carries instant images: bleak and threatening visions of an inescapable bureaucracy, nightmarish transformations uncanny prediction of the Holocaust  But while Kafka's genius is beyond question, the image of a mysterious, sickly, shadowy figure who was scarcely known in his own lifetime bears no resemblance to the historical reality.  Franz Kafka was a popular and well-connected millionaire's son who enjoyed good-time girls, brothels, and expensive porn, who landed a highly desirable state job that pulled in at least $90,000 a year in today's dollars for a six hour day, who remained a loyal member of Prague's German-speaking Imperial elite right to the end, and who's work was backed by a powerful literary clique.  " - James Hawes a novelist and Kafka scholar with a PH. D. in German literature.  *The photo above is a book Jacket design and lettering by Steve Snider with illustration by Douglas Smith.
A really good site to view regarding Kafka-"The Kafka Project". by Mauro Nervi

1 comment:

instructor zero said...

I'll have to check out this video and possibly link it to the course for other students to supplement their reading.