Friday, May 21, 2010

How illuminating

'Kafka interrupted me.
"It is not a cryptogram. Samsa is not merely Kafka, and nothing else. The Metamorphosis is not a confession, although it is- in a certain sense- an indiscretion."
"I know nothing about that."
"Is it perhaps delicate and discreet to talk about the bedbugs in one's own family?"
"It isn't usual in good society."
"You see what bad manners I have."
Kafka smiled. He wished to dismiss the subject. But I did not wish to.
"It seems to me that the distinction between good and bad manners hardly applies here," I said. "The Metamorphosis is a terrible dream, a terrible conception."
Kafka stood still.
"The dream reveals the reality, which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life- the terror of art. But now I must go home."
He took a curt farewell.
Had I driven him away?
I felt ashamed.'

-Gustav Janouch, Conversations with Kafka

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