Monday, November 2, 2009

Father Of The Year

When I have a headful of ideas and a half-dozen or so bullet-pointed story boards and first paragraph rough drafts on the back burner, and an inadequate amount of time to complete any of them in, I feel a little frustrated, but in a good way. It's akin to the feeling I had when I was a teenage boy full to near-bursting with semen, and no girl would look at me. I figure this feeling is better than the one I'll likely get at the other end of the spectrum, when I'm all dried up and liver-spotted, and the only ejaculations that will be coming out of me in any sense will be sad, coughing clouds of dust, like the kind that shoot out of the exhaust pipes of junkie old cars in Harold Lloyd movies.

So, until the time is ripe for me to find out what is on the other side of all of that uncarved stone, I'll think about Kafka's Eleven Sons, and appreciate the imperfections in creation, and try to accept that not every job is going to get done, and some of the jobs that do get done may have been better off having never gotten started.

10 comments:

GbiZ said...

Kafka was a banker too, right?

Spencer Troxell said...

He did something like that, I think, but I'm feeling too lazy right now to check his wikipedia page to find out.

GbiZ said...

Insurance officer and factory manager.

Lodo Grdzak said...

Kafka was an insurance adjuster for Generalie Insurance Company.

Spencer Troxell said...

Do you read Kafka, Lodo?

Lodo Grdzak said...

The Castle and the Trial are (2) of my favorite books. Haven't read them in awhile--in fact, its probably time for me to go back and give 'em another read. I have a special affinity for Kafka since he worked insurance claims just like me. In fact, I've done work for Generalie.

Spencer Troxell said...

That's cool. I've read all of his published short stories, but none of his longer work (aside from metamorphosis, which is longer).

I remembered that he had wallowed away in a life sucking bourgeois job (like I did for awhile), but I didn't remember exactly what it was. I felt a connection to that. He was a great writer.

You make your job sound kind of interesting, though. I'm pretty sure Kafka didn't have an affinity for the work he did. Maybe you guys had different experiences.

Lodo Grdzak said...

Yeah, well, he was an adjuster whereas I'm an investigator. I started as an adjuster and then moved into investigations after Hurricane Andrew in the early (or was it the late?) 1990's. No, early 90's.

I love Kafka's sensibility. When you work claims and then read something like The Trial, its just...great stuff. Dead-on.

I suspect in many ways, life was much harder in Kafka's time than it is today. Sometimes we forget how far we've come in certain respects. I'd highly recommend The Trial or The Castle.

Spencer Troxell said...

I suspect you're right about Kafka's times being harder. We've had the benefit of having many of our taboos and conventions challenged and smashed, and thus it's easier (mostly) for an individual to be more authentically themselves.

We also benefit from having Kafka in our background, along with Camus, Sartre, Nabokov, and any other number of existentialist writers. Man had to accept absurdity & freedom at some point, and those guys were pioneers.

I remember reading somewhere that none of Kafka's longer works were finished. Is that true? And if so, does it affect your experience while reading it?

Since we're recommending existentialist literature to each other, 'Invitation To A Beheading' by Nabokov is one of my favorites.

Lodo Grdzak said...

I've read Lolita and Nabokov's memoirs, but not the one you mentioned. Good! Another reason to live another day.

In regards to Kakfka's unfinished works,...I don't recall them feeling incomplete. You're certainly not gonna get that Hollywood closure that we Americans tend to prefer. But...

With Kafka its all about the sensibility. After a certain amount of time, it doesnt really matter if the narrative cuts out.