Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kafkaesque: "Don't be concerned with things above your pay grade"

I won't finish the Kafka book "the Trial" - its pretty hard work. But I will offer a few points for as long as I am reading it. The lead character (K.) wakes up to find two police officers (apparently) in his bedroom and that he's under arrest. After about 45 minutes of infuriatingly circular and nonproductive talk with the juniors, and then the supervisor he was told that "presumably you'll wish to still go to your job at the bank" and that "while you're under arrest it was not meant to encumber you in any way, you should still live your life as normal".


[supervisor] “I never meant it should be anything else,” he replied. “It hardly seems to have been necessary to notify me of the arrest in that case,” said K., and went even closer. The others had also come closer. All of them had gathered together into a narrow space by the door. “That was my duty,” said the supervisor. “A silly duty,” said K., unyielding. “Maybe so,” replied the supervisor, “only don’t let’s waste our time talking on like this. I had assumed you’d be wanting to go to the bank. As you’re paying close attention to every word I’ll add this: I’m not forcing you to go to the bank, I’d just assumed you wanted to.

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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