"Kafka, unlike your Henry James, was not ordinarily
intelligent or discerning. Kafka was a god damned
petty clerk who lived a god damned petty life and wrote
about it, the dream of it, the madness of it. There is
one novel where a man enters this house, this establishment,
and it appears that from the viewpoint of others that he
is guilty of something but he does not know what. He is
shuffled from room to room, endlessly, to the rattle of
papers and bureaucracy, a silent simmering horrible living
dream of ordinary mad and pressing, senseless everyday life.
Most of his book are on this order: the shadow, the dream,
the stupidity. Then there are other things--where a man turns
into a bridge and lets people walk across him, where a man
turns into a giant cockroach and his sister feeds him as he
hides under the bed. Others, others. Kafka is everything.
Forget Henry James. James is a light mist of silk. Kafka
is what we all know." --SCREAMS FROM THE BALCONY (letters)
And, of course, like Bukowski, Kafka will have you rolling
on the floor in the middle of the nightmare. Henry James,
not so much.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Posted by Richard Martin.... at 10:41 AM