Thursday, December 20, 2012

Kafkaesque: Where your day in court is of little value




So our protagonist has made it to his first hearing and gets to say his piece:


“There is no doubt,” he said quietly, “that there is some enormous organisation determining what is said by this court. In my case this includes my arrest and the examination taking place here today, an organisation that employs policemen who can be bribed, oafish supervisors and judges of whom nothing better can be said than that they are not as arrogant as some others. This organisation even maintains a high-level judiciary along with its train of countless servants, scribes, policemen and all the other assistance that it needs, perhaps even executioners and torturers — I’m not afraid of using those words. And what, gentlemen, is the purpose of this enormous organisation? Its purpose is to arrest innocent people and wage pointless prosecutions against them which, as in my case, lead to no result.


As with so much in this book, the process is agonising and carries the expectation - although he is right - very little good can come of this for our hero. Apparently so. The judge replies, as K. leaves:

“I merely wanted to draw your attention, “ said the judge, “to something you seem not yet to be aware of: today, you have robbed yourself of the advantages that a hearing of this sort always gives to someone who is under arrest.”

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


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