We read the legend into everything we see on the page, rather than simply taking in the words before us.
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Theorbys posted some useful quotes on the subject from John Updike:. Could anyone today read about the scientific killing machine of In the Penal Colony — the arbitrary justice dressed up in uniform and sanctified in official language — without seeing the nightmare bureaucracies of the 20th century? Jews such as the great Franz Kafka?
At least, it seems chilling now. Or, as Kingsley Amis famously claimed, a description of a hangover.
Reading group contributor Nilpferd pointed out that that Kafka himself had no problem seeing art as a conduit to the future:. Art is a mirror which leads the way as regularly as clockwork — some of the time. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics Franz Kafka Reading group.
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The Metamorphosis, in the Penal Colony and Other Stories on Apple Books
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The judgement of taste in Kantian aesthetics raises the issue of "taste", gout in French, which is derived from the mouth orifice and from eating, and has imbued the philosophy of aesthetics, returning with horrifying literalness to its sensory origin, to the sense of taste, or even worse — to the absence of it. As in the story by J. Borges, the Masked Dyer, Hakim of Merv , who hides his leprous face under a theological tangle that provides convincing reasons and reasoning to the public conduct of the prophet, with a veil over his face, the veil gaining reason and meaning from Hakim's theological jumble.
Likewise, the trickster artist disguises the fault in his sense of taste — his helplessness, his inability to live in the scandalously indifferent realms of art perhaps this revelation is another cover-up of this living negation of life, placed in a cage, in a circus. Thus, every explanation, every interpretation become tasteless in both the literal and the figurative sense of this word. Any explanation lacks taste, is in bad taste, or tastes foreign, and as such makes itself redundant.
The abstention from eating was a particularly lush topic for the new science that had emerged at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th — psychoanalysis and no less so the act of eating, an even more abundant source of psychoanalytic nourishment. I refer to the anorexia that afflicted some of the patients treated in the early stage of the formation of this science, Jewish women of Vienna, for whom the symptom of inability to eat, to operate the mouth as well as fasting, stuttering, gagging was part of the so-called "theater of the hysterical body.
The first and the most famous a movie was made about her! I mention Simone Weil with a bit of reverence. Edith Stein was sent from her Dutch convent to Auschwitz as a Jew, died there, and was announced a martyr by the Church, in Conversely, in , Simone Veil - a philosopher, mystic, and freedom fighter, 34 years old, in bad health, a member of the anti-Nazi resistance, a heavy smoker and possibly ill with tuberculosis — took it upon herself to consume the same daily ration given she assumed to her friends in occupied France, and consequently died of starvation or fatigue in a sanatorium in England.
This verbal image appears in her writings: "blood in the snow," which to me connects to a sentence she has written, the last sentence and the conclusion of the essay Chance : "the woman who wishes for a child white as snow and red as blood gets it, but she dies, and the child is given over to a stepmother.
The last woman is Ellen West, a patient, also Jewish, of the philosopher and analyst Ludwig Binswanger, who preferred to die rather than eat… She kissed children with scarlet fever and ended up poisoning herself in For her eating equalled death, and death by poison was her escape from it. An autobiographical note — what is my personal connection to the "bone in the craw" of all these people?
Reading group: what if Kafka's books had been burned?
My father's family has lived in the German city of Essen. If you scramble the letters, you get the English "sense. The themes of the original sin, guilt, and redemption are prevalent in Kafka's writings. The apple lodged in Gregor-the-insect's back as a result of his father's murderous volley is one of the images related to this context.
It might be said, then, that had the hunger artist been in Paradise at the critical moment of the invitation by a relative of the insect to bite into the apple, he would have refused, easily, and humanity would have been saved - instant salvation. Anorexia in Paradise.
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The Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony, and Other Stories: The Great Short…
Bone stuck in throat x Simone Weil. A newspaper clipping from the family archive describing the return of Michal Na'aman's father to Essen in , during which he had received an honorary citizenship and delivered a lecture.
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