Viewing posts tagged kafka

Minnesota Biblical

Spoilers. And, more broadly, the assumption you’ve seen it.


In ‘Kafka and his Precursors’, Borges lists texts and writers which, as the title suggests, he sees as foreshadowing Kafka. It is strange that he omits Dickens, whom Kafka admired, and whose Circumlocution Office - in Little Dorrit - is surely a direct influence. The Coen Brothers could do justice to the Circumlocution Office, as indeed they could do justice to the absurd bureaucracy which tyrannizes Joseph K in The Trial, the bizarre events and grotesque characters encountered by young Karl Roßmann in Amerika, and the rural Zeno’s Paradox experienced by K. in The Castle (Zeno’s Paradox is one of the precursors Borges adumbrates). Indeed, in A Serious Man (2009), the Coens seem to take some affectual and stylistic cues from Kafka.

Borges also remarks:

If I am not mistaken, the heterogeneous pieces I have enumerated resemble Kafka; if I am not mistaken, not all of them resemble each other. This second fact is more significant. In each of these texts we find Kafka's idiosyncrasy to a greater or lesser degree, but if Kafka had never written a line, we would not perceive this quality; in other words, it ...

A Surfeit of Lampreys

I learn from Phil and Kev on the latest Eruditorum Presscast, that ‘The Girl Who Died’ has been called ‘silly’ by some discontented fans.

This is true, and good. And if you think otherwise then I humbly submit that you have missed the point. Indeed, you have arrived at the exact inverse of the point.

Let me nuance this a bit. I think ‘The Girl Who Died’ is, at least in part, about silliness.

People are silly all the way through the episode.

The Doctor behaves in an intensely silly manner, nicknaming the Vikings, clowning around. But he’s not doing it for no reason. As Clara points out, the Doctor is doing it because he doesn’t have a plan yet and he’s waiting for a plan to form. In the meantime, the clowning around is his way of coping with the stress, processing the variables, getting to know everyone, stalling for time.

Ashildir behaves in an intensely silly manner. She challenges the unknown enemy, who manifests in the shape of Odin and kills all the warriors of her village, at exactly the moment when Clara has talked him down. She does so out of pure bravado and ...

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