Infinite Summer

Formed in the summer of 2009 to read David Foster Wallace's masterwork "Infinite Jest".
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 Post subject: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:45 am
Posts: 47
I have started reading Kafka's "Metamorphosis" along with IJ. The connection is startling.
Anyone already done this?


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 Post subject: Re: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:33 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:16 pm
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Location: North Dakota
Nope, but I do know that DFW thought Kafka was right up there among the ranks of the most gifted and hilarious writers. There's an essay he wrote about teaching english to college students who fail to understand how funny Kafka is and how impossible it is to explain Kafka's jokes because all the humor sucks right out of them.


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 Post subject: Re: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
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Location: Fresyes, CA
I never read them in parallel but I get a lot more out of comparing IJ with The Metamorphosis than other books that it seems IJ is commonly compared to, like Hamlet or Ulysses (but in full disclosure, I've never read Ulysses). I think it's worth comparing to Nabokov's writing as well, especially Pale Fire, and even Lolita.


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 Post subject: Re: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:20 pm 
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I am just done with the first 25 pages of Metamorphosis and I was thinking - this is funny - this is absurd - this is ridiculous - but so much like Hal when he is speaking to the Deans and they can't hear him or whether he is really talking and what he is acting like and physically manifesting. These first pages of Meta are a mirror image - plus the narrator who would be Hal turns into some sort of insect. Duh! I mean - DFW wasn't even vaguely camouflaging his parody. But doing it - I would say - by taking what Kafka did and adding to it exponentially. But, again, I am reading about 10 pages each morning.


I am reading a free online copy from bookglutton.com.


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 Post subject: Re: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 2:00 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 7:21 pm
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Location: Fresyes, CA
Have you (or anyone else out there on the forums) read A Wrinkle In Time? Surely you have. There's a scene at the beginning of A Wrinkle In Time, when one of the main characters, a little boy named Charles with way-beyond-adult-genius capabilities meets one of the other main characters for the first time and starts quoting dictionary definitions to disprove local rumors that he is a slow child. Our introduction to Hal made me think of little Charles. That's why it's good to read as many books as you can, so you can....I dunno, do what we're doing? It's a fun pastime anyway. And it gives you a nice "Aha!" feeling when you remember something familiar.


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 Post subject: Re: Kafka connection
PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:59 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:35 pm
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ontoursecretly wrote:
Have you (or anyone else out there on the forums) read A Wrinkle In Time? Surely you have. There's a scene at the beginning of A Wrinkle In Time, when one of the main characters, a little boy named Charles with way-beyond-adult-genius capabilities meets one of the other main characters for the first time and starts quoting dictionary definitions to disprove local rumors that he is a slow child. Our introduction to Hal made me think of little Charles. That's why it's good to read as many books as you can, so you can....I dunno, do what we're doing? It's a fun pastime anyway. And it gives you a nice "Aha!" feeling when you remember something familiar.


Thanks for pointing that out, I read A Wrinkle in Time in Jr. High (waaaaay too long ago to remember!)

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