Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kafka, the Kremlin and Kasparov

"Am in Erzurum. The
worshippers to dead
sardines' heads are
forming a
supranational elite.
Until soon,
kind regards,

You remember this message I received November 16th?

Well, since, I had been living lovely quiet days, snapping at the chance to rereading parts of the correspondence between Voltaire and Frederic II., Saramago's The Seeing, and, after all, listening to Harry Rowohlt reading the complete volume of Sterne's Tristram Shandy, altogether 23 hours and 24 minutes on 22 CDs which had been last year's Christmas present.

There had been but five more messages, each containing of three words: Am in Istanbul, Am in Stockholm,
Am in Moscow, Am in Bern. The last arrived Wednesday evening: Am in Lisbon.

Now, tonight watching the beginning of Kafka's "Castle", who drops in?
Right. My closest friend.

Here I am.

Welcome back, Tetrapilotomos. How ...

Ah, Kafka's Kremlin. Ulrich Mühe is brilliant in the Kasparov role.

You did not have a date with Mary Jo?


Tetrapilotomos! Kafka took his last dwelling six feet under almost 40 years before Kasparov made his first move by leaving his first dame.

Are you sure?

A strong tea, Tetrapilotomos?

. As
K. awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed into an asteroid; in 1983 this asteroid would be discovered by Randolph Kirk and Donald Rudy who would name it 3412 Kafka, and in the same year "Amerika" would be published. Sean, don't you understand? It's a gig.....

Coming to think of it I do hastily agree. Otherwise, in a minute you'll tell Flann O'Brien is Kafka's reincarnation.


Is. Anyway, it's lovely to have you back, my friend. It was so quiet and I missed you so much.

Alright, seriously: But you will agree
if Kafka were Russian, he would be a Costumbrista writer, won't you?

Would he be a Costumbrista writer, he were Mexican.

Why? Take it as an ingredient of globalisation ... or, this may please you more, of Omnium.


Well, actually I had intended to watch the film and afterwards to hear Tetrapilotomos telling a few (!) tales of his trip.
Instead, I did see nothing of the film, and ... the rest you know.

Now I am tired. Suppose tomorrow I'll need nerves of steel.

The peace of the night.

- - -

For those interested to read a little more about the (unfinished) novel, the film and its director: Voilà.

More about Kafka - and surprisingly not bad for the beginning - you find here.

And for those who could not get enough, highly commended: The Kafka Project.


  1. Ah Sean you have made me want to revisit Kafka. I haven't read any of his works in years. I didn't realise Hameke had made a film of the Castle. I loved Hidden and his adaptation of the Piano Teacher

  2. Jams,
    do it. :)
    I re-read his works four years ago, and enjoyed it more than I did some twenty years before.
    Btw, likewise impressed I was when reading selected articles by Milena Jesenská (published between 1919 and 1939).
    As for "The Castle": If you find an English version, watch it! I'd like to hear/read The Poor Mouth's opinion. :)

  3. Sean, I posted a video for you here. Enjoy!

  4. It's all the fault of golems and anyway, he would be me, not a Costumbrista.

  5. jmb,

    "Would be", Franz K. Higham, "would"?! :)

  6. I read Kafka in my twenties and cannot bear to read more. Too depressing. The ones I read, some in German, still haunt me.

    1. Haven't read lots of Kafka, recently, either. However, I do remember Michael Haneke's film adaption of Kafka's Das Schloß, with Ulrich Mühe as K. was fascinating and ...yes: haunting.