Kafkaesque, actually



There’s a certain thematic consonance to my reading last evening and this morning, inadvertent though it was.

Denis Johnson’s ‘The Angels,’ the tale of two people from the fringes of society – a young mother escaping from her marriage and a former Navy serviceman drinking his aimless way across the country – who share oddly disjointed experiences, both together and apart, has proven remarkably similar in tone and style to my other read: ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka.

What connects the two is the ubiquitous “Kafkaesque” nature of dreamlike prose, as well as the terrifying nature of seemingly random, often threatening, happenings which cannot always be explained logically.

I certainly didn’t pair these two intentionally, yet having done so sets up its own Kafkaesque serendipity.

Curiouser and curiouser.

I enjoy darkly psychological examinations of the mind, fiction exploring humanity through a Baroque lens. Things which are disturbing jerk us out of our zone of comfort, our safe little worlds. The reminder is what we believe to be static is anything but.

At any moment, what you believe you are seeing can turn, ever so fractionally, revealing the angel to be a monster. Or the monster, an angel.

Don’t get too comfortable. You never know when you might have to move.

Perhaps very quickly.


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