Sunday, March 30, 2008

Description of a Struggle by Franz Kafka blog posts

1

Kafka has one very interesting way of telling stories. In "Description of a Struggle" his main character is found sitting alone at a table. As a reader I don't know why he was invited to this party, and why he is sitting all by himself. The confusing style in which Kafka writes makes me believe that the main character is somewhat insane and most of the story is being told inside of his head. Why didn't his acquaintance burst out into rapid conversation the minute the two had left the party? His acquaintance seemed so intent on telling him the story of the lady he had been with and when they were finally on the walk nothing was said between the two of them. This makes the narrator seem very self-conscious thinking of all different ways that his acquaintance would be planning to kill him sense they were both alone and nothing was being said.

" -that I began to feel a certain fear. I realized that whether I allowed myself to be stabbed or ran away, my end had come."

As the story proceeds his thoughts become more and more absurd. The wording is beautiful but his thoughts become crazier. He thinks way to hard about things and his thoughts becoming over exaggerated turning his walk with an acquaintance into a fight for his life. This is why I believe most of the story isn't happening but being imagined in his head.

2

" Oh well, memories," said I. " Yes, even remembering in itself is sad, yet how much more its object! Don't let yourself in for things like that, it's not for you and not for me. It only weakens one's present position without strengthening the former one- nothing is more obvious - quite apart from the fact that the former one doesn't need strengthening." (15)

This quotation seems extremely interesting to me. The protagonist's mind has been wondering before this passage and when he spoke these words they jumped out at me and I thought that I couldn't agree more with them. Tell me what you guys think of this passage. Every day people are stuck in their memories, trying to figure out how they could have done something better, differently, or not at all. The way Kafka describes these people is brilliant. They constantly try to strengthen the past which is only making the present weaker.

After thinking about this passage I realized that the protagonist never goes back in time. The reader never reads of his past. Of course, he does go on a memory tangent after explaining how one should never live in the past but that is only to prove his point that he does indeed have memories. I believe that is why it was so hard to feel for and understand the character while first reading this story because he never gives us any back round information on who he is. Who is he? We know he went to a party and we know he works in an office. Other than that the reader is basically being thrown on a roller coaster into his mind because it is extremely hard to understand a man who tells us that he went for a joy ride on a man that he only knew for one night. That part of the story could not have possibly been real. This is were I am getting my notion that a lot of the story is in his head. There would be no way that his acquaintance would let the narrator jump on top of his and ride him up the Laurenziberg.

3

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I thought you guys would find this interesting so if you can search the link. This sculpture was influenced by Franz Kafka's "Description of a Struggle". The man is riding on the other man's shoulders but the acquaintance doesn't have a head. I thought this an interesting take on the acquaintance. What is the acquaintance isn't really real at all. This goes along with our theme of the story being all in his head.

" What is it that makes you all behave as though you were real? Are you trying to make me believe I'm unreal, standing here absurdly on the green pavement? You, sky, surely it's a long time since you've been real, and as for you, Ringplatz, you have never been real." (40)

This is a very intense quote in the Fat Man's story consisting of Jerome Faroche yelling at the moon. I tried searching who or what Ringplatz is all I could come up with is that it is a place. That is pretty much it. Do any of you know what Ringplatz is. It has never been real. This was an amazing speech said by Jerome and I feel like it needs to be done justice in my head by me knowing exactly what he is talking about.

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