The Revelatory Texts of Kafka and Proust

I am starting to get into the swing of the one sentence a day translation project.  While it seems to be cluttering up my other blog posts quickly driving all-too-important blog posts down into the depths of scrolling where no will venture I will (for now) continue to pop them up here.  In any event, I find myself fascinated by the daily unfolding of these two writers.  What intrigues me is the stark contrast in the navigational world offered to the reader.  Proust from the outset allows existence to pour out its possibility shifting between dream-life and waking-life, exploring relationship with objects, consider light, sound, memory, clarity, obscurity, etc.  All is phenomena but phenomena is more.  Kafka on the other hand is revelatory in his limitations.  He offers a stranger we don’t know, a narrator we don’t know, a room they are in, an adjoining room with other people we don’t know, a predictable land-lady who is now suddenly unpredictable.  Revelation is a mystery in its depth according to Proust.  Revelation is a mystery on its surface according to Kafka.  Both draw us forward because we know, we know certainly that something will be revealed.  But just as importantly both styles instill in us an equal certainly that what they reveal is not all . . . there is more.


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