I challenge the individual known as TarSpiel to go to the beginning of this thread and use his brain (the one that acquired the credentials mentioned) to do some reasoning...
Here's the link to the Byron Katie July 22nd Facilitator Teleconference again:
Please, someone, post a transcript.
Franz Kafka (1883-1924), a fiction writer and diarist best known for his short novels of existential despair and helplessness, most of which were published, unfinished, posthumously
Max Brod (1884-1968), a German novelist and Kafka biographer who, as Kafka’s literary executor, defied that writer's request that his unpublished manuscripts be burned
Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926), a major German poet whose admiration for Kafka’s work helped to establish the credibility of the novelist
Thomas Mann (1875-1955), a celebrated German fiction writer whose stories Kafka admired and with whose works Kafka’s have sometimes been compared
Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880), a French novelist and an important influence on Kafka primarily known for his realistic fiction
Johann von Goethe (1749-1832), a German poet and dramatist whose Romantic works profoundly influenced Kafka
Summary of Event
By 1912, Franz Kafka had completed The Metamorphosis and was reading it to his narrow circle of friends, but it was not until 1915 that he agreed to publish the story, which was issued in a minor serial publication, Die Weissen Blätter, under the German title Die Verwandlung. The haunting, nightmarish piece, destined to become a modern classic, tells the story of a self-effacing salesman named Gregor Samsa, who wakes one morning to discover that he has been transformed into a "monstrous vermin," a large, cockroach-like insect. Unable to adapt to his circumstances, Gregor finally, and willfully, dies of disillusionment and starvation.
Despite its somewhat repulsive predication, The Metamorphosis is an intriguing modern allegory. Gregor, a hardworking, respectful young man, simply accepts the grotesque change as his lot. In fact, he is anxious only about its impact on his ability to meet his obligations to his employer and his family. The metaphysical implications of his fantastic transfiguration concern him not at all.
In the insect's body, Gregor calmly attempts to meet or evade his humdrum responsibilities as if he were suffering from nothing worse than the flu or the common cold. How to get out of bed, how to move across the room, how to get to work on time, how to explain his failure to get there when it becomes obvious that he will be late--these and myriad other banal problems are what he mulls over….
In his story, Kafka was undoubtedly exorcising some personal devils, notably his ambivalent feelings toward his father, Herrmann, an overbearing, intemperate, and tyrannical man whose worldly values repeatedly collided with his son's aesthetic interests. A shrewd, self-made entrepreneur and owner of a wholesale luxury-goods business, Herrmann Kafka was an unmerciful taskmaster who treated his servants and employees abysmally. Kafka’s reaction to his father's behavior was both to turn inward and to nurture a basic kindness and decency in his dealings with others, behavior for which his father found him weak and irresponsible.
While the equation of Gregor with Kafka and the senior Samsa and Gregor's boss with Herrmann Kafka is of speculative interest, it is of less importance than the particular modern themes that evolve from such character contrasts. Gregor is victim--a hapless, antiheroic protagonist who, hamstrung by his own decency, is unable to cope in a world that is at best indifferent and at worst deliberately hostile and cruel. Furthermore, he becomes totally alienated from those whose love and loyalty he should command. Turned into an insect, lacking the physical capacity for speech but still endowed with human longing and rational powers, Gregor is literally unable to communicate with his family. As metaphor, Gregor, despite his limited spiritual vision, is the sensitive but ineffective man isolated and alone in a brutal, depressing world that relentlessly progresses along Darwinian and Freudian lines.
The dominant mood of The Metamorphosis is one of gloom and despair. Life the Samsa family is dreary and largely uneventful. If there is any hope for anything. other than an empty, time-serving existence ending in an obscure grave, it lies in Grete's potential as a violinist or, for the author, in his own art. It had been Gregor's hope to fund his sister's training at a conservatory, but with his metamorphosis, that hope is crushed. Ironically, as the story progresses and Gregor becomes more adept as an insect, he also becomes increasingly sensitive to Grete's playing, with the allegorical implication that in order to develop fully an aesthetic sensibility, modern man must withdraw from or be ostracized by a society that no longer cares about what he thinks, much less what he feels.
Although there is an apparent kinship between Kafka’s fiction and that of Russian writers from Nikolai Gogol to Anton Chekhov, the writers Kafka admired most were Johann Goethe and Gustave Flaubert. The latter has been credited with having prompted Kafka to use antiheroic protagonists treated with scientific detachment, the former with having instilled in him an abiding sense of Weltschmerz, or "world sorrow". Kafka, a Jew, filtered these influences through a consciousness acutely sensitive to social victimization and familial obligation. What evolves from that confluence of ethnic and literary heritages is the "Kafkaesque" tale, a story told in straightforward, simple prose that deals with a hapless protagonist who, while maintaining a cringing respect for authority, suffers anxiety and depression from a failure to measure up to its demands. Ironically, that authority, in whatever form, is often illogical or inscrutable and is invariably dehumanizing.
It is that irony that gives The Metamorphosis its disquieting and provocative power. After his transformation, Gregor, although powerless to meet his obligations to job and family, develops a maturing, humanizing self-awareness. In addition to becoming increasingly sensitive to the feelings of others, he begins to appreciate his sister's music, that form of human expression that impinges most directly on man's soul. Meanwhile, the authoritarian figures, Gregor's loutish father and the bullying office manager, both reveal a total insensitivity and mounting hostility toward Gregor--particularly the parasitical father, who resents having to return to work and holds Gregor responsible for all ills that befall the family. Clearly, the real vermin of the piece are the selfish exploiters who treat others without a shred of human compassion or respect.
Impact of Event
General recognition of the literary achievement of Franz Kafka did not come until after his death from tuberculosis in 1924, in part because Kafka himself had been reluctant to publish more than a small sampling of work. Although he had early champions among a small coterie of German-language literati--in Rainer Maria Rilke and Thomas Mann, for example--it was not until the posthumous publication of his unfinished novels in the late 1920's that Kafka’s reputation began to grow and his works, in translation, broke geographical and language boundaries. Had his friend and biographer Max Brod not chosen to ignore Kafka’s dying wish that his unpublished works.be burned, Kafka would probably have remained an obscure and largely ignored writer.