Kafka’s Imaginations

by kholinar

I have a very hard time deciding exactly what I think of Kafka. On one hand, there are many of his stories that I do not entirely get. On the other, there are things like The Judgment and Before the Law that evoke very strong reactions in me that I truely enjoy. Sometimes I even feel that I almost understand… In some cases the story is set in the ordinary and then, in the end, something extraordinary happens. Sometimes it starts with something entirely implausible and yet continues with a certainty that induces a sort of “mental nausea.” Yet in it, whether disgusted or uplifted by the outcome, there is always the sense that the idea may not neglected, and, like the dying man in Before the Law it may take all our lives just to see the light shining from the first door in a line of many.

Sometimes I wonder as well whether I really should have read some things. I read halfway through that book and really wasn’t affected much by many of the stories. Yet, having finished all of them, the whole feels like a bony hand on my shoulder. Maybe it is because, due to my upbringing, I have never been someone who believed that the material world must follow our perceived laws. Madness and Demons are the fronts and ideals that fundamentalists and psychologists hold high as explanations, but is either a comforting thought? Oh certainly, my fears and wonder are not overwhelming. I know, in all my wanderings, the path that stands higher than understanding. I can be a child and find it in a moment.

If nothing else, I’m thankful for things I don’t quite understand. The resonance that breaks my glass is a welcome change to my wine-sipping.