Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

x2 Review: The Trial, and Genealogy of Morals

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Here’s something new. I had to read these for class. I hated both. So you’re going to get DOUBLE the fun in one review! Yay!

The Trial

Franz Kafka

Get it if you dare
Rating: Ugh
Read: Feb 2006

I am now quite certain Kafka was on snuff. Or something.

You know those dreams where you’re doing something, and you know there’s a really really good, important reason for what you’re doing… It’s imperative that you do this thing you’re doing. But you can’t for the life of you remember what that reason is? In the dream you may actually explain to the people around you why it is so important that you do this… but you yourself can never quite articulate it TO yourself?

Yeah. That’s Kafka. That’s The Trial.

Reading it was, for me, a trial. In fact, I stopped halfway, because I had absolutely no sympathy for the main character or desire to go on. It was like The Stranger all over again.

Our wuss hero, Josef K., is a CFO at some bank. The bank, town, etc, don’t have names. Despite being so high-ranking, he just rents a room from this old woman who has a handful of other boarders. Anyway, one day he wakes up and there are a bunch of toughs standing over him telling him that he’s under arrest. No one will tell him what he’s being arrested FOR, but he is. K. (he’s always referred to as “K.”) looks for ways to resist, but eventually the head examiner thingy person shows up and K. gives him a tired on how poorly he’s been treated. (The goons ate his breakfast and told him if he wanted food he could pay them to go to the local greaseball and get him something. Outrageous!) The examiner listens, stands up, says “My job was to tell you that you’re under arrest, and see how you reacted… so I’ve done my job. btw, I assume you’ll to go to work now.” So, he’s under arrest, but… not. He’s free to go and do whatever he wants.

They call him in to this bizarre office in a cheap apartment building for a mini-hearing… he gets a lawyer who keeps telling him his petition hasn’t yet been filed, but it will be… It’s one big, bizarre mess. And K. is quite sure that he’s being treated terribly–which he is. But it’s not getting him anywhere. In fact, NOTHING is getting ANYWHERE.

I finally copped out and looked at the SparkNotes, and found out the ending. It’s STUPID. I think the whole point was to wear away K.’s resolve until he just let it happen.

Germans are weird.

Genealogy of Morals

By Nitzche

Don’t say I didn’t warn you
Rating: Mrouwr-?
Read: Feb 2006More evidence of insane German-ness!

This shite is heavy, man. Really, really heavy. Way too heavy for my little brain to wade through for too long.

The trouble is that there’s something on every other page that deserves masses of thought in and of itself. Like the idea that every single thing you do or say is a sort of ‘promise.’ By acting in that way, you’re beholden to make the next act in accordance with the first–the first is limiting, etc. That’s a lot to get your mind around. And that’s only ONE of the issues in the two essays we were supposed to read.

I think I skipped the second one, but the lecture was great.


Written by Shen

February 23, 2006 at 4:41 pm

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