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Jerker Virdborg: Kafka crawled deep down into the wound he created

At ten o'clock in the evening on Sunday 22 september 1912 and sits for a 29-year-old man at a desk in Prague. Up until then, the day, according to his later description, ”has been so gloomy that I just wanted to shout”. The whole night writing, he then frantically and only many hours later, at six o'clock in the morning, he is done. During Monday morning, he had to sick to be able to get some sleep before he can go to his job at the Institute for the workers ' accident insurance.

the Result of his effort on this night, a short story about ten pages, will change the history of literature. The man's name is, of course, Franz Kafka.

is the if to he before his death desired that his writings would be burned. This is directly incorrect. And it was also not practically possible. Kafka did during his life to publish a lot. Of the two testamentsliknande letter to his friend Max Brod at the beginning of the 1920s, also suggest that Kafka was satisfied with a long line of his short stories and prosastycken. Not least, the satisfaction he felt with the short story, from the september 1912 - ”the time went wound up for the first time during a single long night” as he put it.

A wound? For the first time go up? The short story called ”the Judgment” and is about the young businessman Georg Bendemann, who, nyförlovad and successful, has written a letter to an old friend in Russia. Georg is looking so up his aged father to tell you about the letter. First, they're talking quietly and Georg beds down the father in the bed.

But soon the father to the violent attack on George the whole person and repute, the father has indeed written a letter to his friend and the attack ends abruptly with a judgment: Georg must die! This allowed George to immediately leave the floor, run to a bridge, throw yourself in the river and, by all accounts, drowning.

his fiancée, Felice Bauer, is far from his best. Also within a absurdistisk tradition is its twists and turns are too drastic and the characters ' relationships to the distant friend seems to only be symbolic, which gives the dramaturgy heel. Moreover, the all beautiful and, in the original German, erotically charged slutraden - ”At that moment went to a near enough endless traffic across the bridge” - stylistically outside the rest of the text.

What in ”the Judgment,” was it Kafka found so satisfactory? At a guess: The opportunities he loomed further down in the wound. By writing the novel in a single sitting, he came close to his ideal of a ”complete transparency of both the body and the soul”, the closest to understand as a process, but breaks when he is deep in a fiction managed to reach up to the absolute presence of the personal pain points. And this with the help of a dry and factual issuing language that still allowed an inner and an outer reality not only were slid into each other, but also, at times, completely changed the place. And then at the same time with the surreal horror and blind violence also experience a refreshing rebellious farce.

that led him as a writer. The wound widened and deepened, soon so much that he could crawl down in there. Above all, he was their method to the championship in the novels ”The missing” (first called ”America”), ”Process” and, the magnificent, ”Castle”, books which he faced his death, however, and there is the myth true, very much wanted to see burn.

For the novel writing did not permit the same transparency. Long stories took not a night, without the year, to write, and required in addition to planning and complicating dramaturgical lines. This was to him overwhelming. The opportunities were not to exploit to the fullest, the desire to constantly maintain transparency in its skrivakt created for him a dilemma as insoluble as Josef K in ”the Process”. None of the much later so beloved the novels were completed, therefore, and time and time again through his life-called the Kafka of them failed, a paradoxically strict judgment, at least as hard as the father of Georg.

that authors are rarely able to be the most perceptive readers of their own texts. And it is an illusion to believe that the author of a text at all to be able to distinguish it from the work that led up to it. Compared with the sascha's sexual novels remains ”the Judgment” is also just an early novell among others. At the same time, it is difficult fascinating, and touching, to närläsa the text when you know that it was with this that Kafka reached, it was here that he found his guldåder.

Or, rather, its varåder. Etthundrasju years later, it is, thankfully, still just as wide open, with uppfläkta edges and vibrant meat - dare we even think about how the 1900-century literature had seen this miraculous wounds without?

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