[ilds] Kafka and Durrell

Richard Pine richardpin at eircom.net
Mon Jul 23 11:57:29 PDT 2007


Can't agree at all. I read K when very young and it gave me no difficulty 
whatsoever. (I do think you used 'incomprehensible' and 'baffling' in close 
proximity, and I thought both words applied to K.) The Castle is crystal 
clear, as is 'Before the Law', as far as subject matter is concerned and - 
someone is going to holler at this - he strikes me as a paradigmtaic 
post(-)colonial writer. Seeing Kafka's Prague, 40 years aftre having read 
him, was an extra layer of eye-opening.
RP
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Bruce Redwine" <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
To: "Durrell list" <ilds at lists.uvic.ca>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: [ilds] Kafka and Durrell


> Richard Pine asks why I consider Kafka incomprehensible and baffling.  A 
> short answer, in a Durrellian context.  Kafka is not incomprehensible (I 
> didn't say he was); in fact, his Czech German is quite lucid and a delight 
> to read.  What's baffling is his subject matter, in particular parts of 
> The Trial (the famous, "Before the Law") and the entirety of The Castle. 
> He writes in mysterious parables about an incomprehensible social and 
> cosmic order.  This is not Durrell, whose odd English cannot match the 
> clarity of Kafka's German.  Durrell seems to be using language as a 
> smokescreen to hide something.  Kafka sees a smokescreen, which language 
> cannot penetrate.
>
> Bruce
>
> -----Original Message-----
>>From: Bruce Redwine <bredwine1968 at earthlink.net>
>>Sent: Jul 22, 2007 7:49 PM
>>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>>Subject: Re: [ilds] John Press and Durrell
>>
>>Which poses an interesting problem.  If the poems are intended to be at 
>>least in part incomprehensible, who will read them?  The poet is 
>>destroying his own audience.  I'm trying to think of antecedents for this. 
>>Perhaps Kafka?  Who published almost nothing and wrote mainly for his own 
>>satisfaction and amusement?  And we all know how baffling Kafka is -- and 
>>how great.
>>
>>Bruce
>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Michael Haag <michaelhaag at btinternet.com>
>>>Sent: Jul 22, 2007 6:25 PM
>>>To: ilds at lists.uvic.ca
>>>Subject: Re: [ilds] John Press and Durrell
>>>
>>>
>>>Like it or not, Durrell may not want readers seeing too much into his
>>>poems.
>>>
>>>:Michael
>>>
>>>
>>>On Monday, July 23, 2007, at 01:14  am, william godshalk wrote:
>>>
>>>>  "At times, his vision is so private that, lacking the key, we find
>>>> ourselves unable to decipher the vivid cryptograms which lie before
>>>> us."
>
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