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Thursday, Oct 30, 2003

off the kaf

"Now, why is that? Where are Kafka's descendants? Only a handful--Borges, W.G. Sebald, Thomas Bernhard--have successfully "channeled" the Kafkaesque in any meaningful way. The result has been queer. His influence seems to cause a mutation in the recipient, metamorphosing the novel into something closer to a meditation, a fantastical historiography, an essay, a parable. What is it about Kafka's lessons for the novel that cannot be contained within the novel in the form as we have come to know it? How does Kafka lead novelists away from the novel?"