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Old 02-04-2008, 06:13 PM   #9
zelda_pinwheel
zeldinha zippy zeldissima
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Location: Paris, France
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But maddening, like an itch I can't scratch. Argh!
heh. welcome to my world...

interesting analysis of kafka vs. calvino. overall i agree with it. i tend to make a distinction between kafka and the absurdists but i don't know that it's justified. objectively his vision of the world corresponds to the absurdist vision in many ways. perhaps i make an unconscious distinction between western europe (ionesco, pirandello...) and eastern europe (kafka, gogol...) who have their own special variety of absurdism (which is generally more sinister). also i tend to think of the absurdiste movement being more around 1950's and 60's and kafka pre-dates that. maybe he is just a pre-cursor, sowing the seeds...

kafka is indeed rather bleak ; the frightening part is this bleakness seems rather true to reality sometimes, *his* reality at the least. calvino's is definitely more of a happy-go-lucky absurde ; inexplicable things happen, people do incomprehensible or irrational things, but hey ! that's just life, no use getting wound up about it... and the people in his books seem to have their reasons for acting so strangely. like "the baron in the tree" ; what a crazy idea, to spend your life in the tree ! but he knows why he's there... whereas in kafka, as you say, they are condemned to struggle hopelessly against the incomprehensible (and generally malevolent) actions and conditions surrounding them.

i'm starting to think i've never read invisible cities (how did that happen ?). i will have to add it to my list...
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