Saturday, December 22, 2012

Kafkaesque: When everybody knows more about your progress than you

Our hero, K., goes with his uncle to meet his uncle's friend, who is a lawyer. After 10 pages of rambling confusion we get to a passage where the lawyer's carer, Leni, goes out of her way to meet with K. privately. In view of the fact that Leni has never met K. and that he still hasn't been charged, this is bewildering:

"But do you have to be always thinking about your trial?” she added slowly. “No, not at all,” said K., “I probably even think too little about it.” “That’s not the mistake you’re making,” said Leni, “you’re too unyielding, that’s what I’ve heard.” “Who said that?” asked K., he felt her body against his chest and looked down on her rich, dark, tightly-bound hair. “I’d be saying too much if I told you that,” answered Leni. “Please don’t ask for names, but do stop making these mistakes of yours, stop being so unyielding, there’s nothing you can do to defend yourself from this court, you have to confess.

Confess to what? I know I'm bouncing through this book quickly, but I'm dead certain that K. hasn't been accused of anything.

Kaf·ka·esque [kahf-kuh-esk]
2. marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity: Kafkaesque bureaucracies.
1945–50 Kafka + -esque

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