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Franz Kafka: In the Penal Colony

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  • Adam Riley
    Hello all, So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What does it mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does anyone have any insight to share?
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 30 8:52 AM
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      Hello all,
      So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What
      does it mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does
      anyone have any insight to share?

      Thanks,
      ADam

      __________________________________________________
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    • Adam Riley
      Hello all, So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What does it mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does anyone have any insight to share?
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 30 8:52 AM
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        Hello all,
        So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What
        does it mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does
        anyone have any insight to share?

        Thanks,
        ADam

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger
        http://im.yahoo.com
      • William Harris
        Adam, Sorry, I have not read Kafka. But I have read Bookdoc and I do not believe he is imprisened , Yet. He is an admitted absurdist, while Eduard[admitting
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 30 12:25 PM
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          Adam, Sorry, I have not read Kafka. But I have read Bookdoc and I do not
          believe he is imprisened , Yet. He is an admitted absurdist, while
          Eduard[admitting to nothing] would seem to be a positive rational
          existentalist. I am wondering if they would answer three questions, for
          comparison of their reactions to different circumstances. What would you do in
          the first Five minutes after: 1. Your wife tells you she is having an
          affair as you are driving through the mountains? 2You come upon four twenty
          year olds raping and beating a female. You are in the woods and have a 9mm
          pistol but are one mile from aid? 3. You just won 8million dollars? Bill

          Adam Riley wrote:

          > Hello all,
          > So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What
          > does it mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does
          > anyone have any insight to share?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > ADam
          >
          > __________________________________________________
          > Do You Yahoo!?
          > Get email alerts & NEW webcam video instant messaging with Yahoo! Messenger
          > http://im.yahoo.com
          >
          >
          > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
          > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
          >
          > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
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        • Eduard Alf
          interesting 1) being in the mountains or on the prairie would not make much difference. I would likely go to Plan B; there is always a Plan B for such a
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 30 1:33 PM
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            interesting

            1) being in the mountains or on the prairie would
            not make much difference. I would likely go to
            Plan B; there is always a Plan B for such a
            situation. I suppose it is a matter of talking it
            out and seeing where things go from there.
            Options could go from forgiveness to divorce.

            2) depends who the female is, how good am I with a
            9mm [I have never had a pistol in my hand], an
            estimation of just how many of those guys I could
            kill without getting hurt in exchange. Actually,
            all considered 1 mile does not seem that far.

            3) is that US or Canadian?

            Bookdoc will likely use up all of his response in
            asking you to define "reaction".

            eduard

            -----Original Message-----
            From: William Harris [mailto:bhvwd@...]
            Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2001 3:25 PM
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [existlist] Franz Kafka: In the Penal
            Colony

            Adam, Sorry, I have not read Kafka. But I have
            read Bookdoc and I do not
            believe he is imprisened , Yet. He is an admitted
            absurdist, while
            Eduard[admitting to nothing] would seem to be a
            positive rational
            existentalist. I am wondering if they would answer
            three questions, for
            comparison of their reactions to different
            circumstances. What would you do in
            the first Five minutes after: 1. Your wife
            tells you she is having an
            affair as you are driving through the mountains?
            2You come upon four twenty
            year olds raping and beating a female. You are in
            the woods and have a 9mm
            pistol but are one mile from aid? 3. You just
            won 8million dollars? Bill
          • nothing@theabsurd.com
            The only
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 30 5:20 PM
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              <<So I just read this work last night for pleasure. What does it
              mean? I can draw my own conclusions but does anyone have
              any insight to share?>>

              The only thing I can think to say which is valid is that I enjoyed
              Beckett's trillogy more. This doesn't mean anyone else will,
              hoever.

              n.
              --
            • nothing@theabsurd.com
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 30 6:31 PM
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                <<What would you do in the first Five minutes after:

                1. Your wife tells you she is having an affair as you are driving
                through the mountains?
                2. You come upon four twenty year olds raping and beating a
                female. You are in the woods and have a 9mm pistol but are one
                mile from aid?
                3. You just won 8million dollars? >>

                I think it is unfair that I thought about this before answering. In
                fact, I read 'Duard's answers before answering (excuse me for
                finding it humorous that philosophy has an effect on behavior,
                but place doesn't matter...). At the same time, I don't know if I find
                these to necessarily be philosophically related. Either that, or I
                am not sure how to fit the philosophical perspective in. The initial
                impact would probably be an emotional one, and 5 minutes is
                not a lot of time. The philosophy, that I would react to the
                immediate situation and my interest in it. At the same time,
                some of my reaction might attest to earlier points I tried to make
                that a philosophy is not necessarily incapacitating. I can
                convince myself of the idea of the philosophy, and yet it may not
                directly affect/effect behavior. Absurd philosophy is more a
                philosophy of intellectual construct than physical action.

                1. I would think the mountains would have quite an effect on the
                result. For example, say we were headed to the mountains for a
                second honeymoon -- to a mountain resort where we had our
                first honeymoon; or say the person with whom she had the affair
                (is having) lives on the mountain. On the other hand, say she
                were having an affair with another woman, or, say, a clown
                because she liked his rubber nose, or, say, an imaginary affair
                with a super-hero cartoon character. The situation would affect
                the outcome as much as place.

                However, more than any of this mattering is the intent. With one
                whom you trust your life, there should be respect and some
                measure of partnership. the depth of betrayal is also linked to
                the effect. Other circumstance (children, etc.) come into
                emotional play. But if one does not consider the act as itself as
                betrayal and considers interest and less tangible need, there
                may not even be reason to be upset.

                In short, you can talk yourself into and out of anything. What do
                you want to convince yourself of? It will end up being impossible
                to tell if your reaction is genuine, new, improved or otherwise.

                Philosophically, I would like to suggest that I would have the
                sense to find out where she wanted to go with it, and take a
                course accordingly. It is also obvious to me that there is no
                reasoning with emotion. If she were having interests elsewhere,
                it is not for me to step in the way, and it is not in my best interest
                to do so. I would hope not to pick a spouse so poorly in the first
                place. However, one can never tell, and then things change. In
                any case it will be another day tomorrow, and there is time to
                re-evaluate to gain a new perspective, and put the relationship
                into perspective -- either to continue it, or not.

                2. If I am sure how many bullets are in the gun and I am
                confident handling it, and I could be sure of the situation, there
                would either be a shot in the air or shouting and waving for the
                purpose of threatening. It is not up to me to take a life -- even of
                what I might perceive to be a foul human. If it were possible to
                secure them in some fashion, that would be my choice.

                At the same time, philosophically I am not sure where I would
                stand. It is difficult when philosophy does not consider physical
                violence as any means. I can honestly say that in my lifetime I
                have never been in a fight -- regardless of verbal jousting. I have
                had people angry at me (at least 2 of those times a gun has
                appeared in situations where someone was angry with me), and
                several have swung (only one connected). It becomes difficult to
                understand the philosophical perspective that would bring
                someone to these perspecitves. And I guess my only recourse is
                to treat the situation with distrust. I can't understand the behavior,
                but know I would instinctually find it wrong -- she should not be
                held against her will, something in the wrongness of that is
                enough to overcome my usual perspective.

                3. Put away enough to make life comfortable (a critical mass, as
                it were), and use the rest to explore interests while offering
                opportunity to others via creation of scenarios (businesses, etc.).
                It becomes more of a game at that point as one is free of the
                work bondage. I happen to like my job, but there are other things
                I might prefer, or be more interested, in exploring.


                And so...I have no use for a definition of 'reaction' sir 'Duard. I ask
                you for definitions because yours always seem inconsistent or
                unclear to me. I wouldn't need the definitions to figure out what it
                was you thought you were saying...But I can't really blame you for
                not tailoring your words to my understanding.

                Bill, were you expecting something else? and how would you
                answer?

                vico...joyce
                --------------
              • William Harris
                Bookdoc, Thank you for your kind reply, it seems most fitting with what I have read from your postings. I attempted to pose a negative situation, a positive
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 31 10:57 AM
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                  Bookdoc, Thank you for your kind reply, it seems most fitting with what I
                  have read from your postings. I attempted to pose a negative situation, a
                  positive situation, and a totally chaoatic situation. I included the five
                  minute deadline to insure that a decision was made with regard to the
                  circumstance. You are both good sports to participate in this, an outstanding
                  openmindedness is what is first apparent. As to No.1 both of you were
                  well reasoned and patient in your reactions. you are correct when you note
                  the emotion is lacking in this kind of an exercise. It seemed Eduard was
                  more interested in the direct emotional impact of the situation as given
                  while you had an interest in the possible impact of multiple factors not
                  mentioned. I had pre answered the questions to my satisfaction and on the
                  first and had one difference from you, I first would have stopped the car.
                  Driving in the mountains and discussing divorce is just tooooo much for me.{
                  I have been devorced twice}
                  No2:I meant this thing to give a hint of total disorganisation.
                  Interestinglly bookdoc related to the victim while Eduard seemed more
                  concerned with the totality of the picture. All of the emotions you
                  mentioned seem operant and the weighting of one over the other is only a
                  guess. I cheated on this , I have taken courses in weapons self defense and
                  have friends who are practical shooters. They approach the situation with
                  very set rules. If you produce a weapon you must be willing to kill with it.
                  Shoot to kill, two rounds per target. With four targets that is eight
                  rounds- the max capacity of many 9mms. You would have to be perfect, very
                  fast , and damn lucky. My wife was really pissed off at all of us, she
                  wanted the total John Wayne response. I would run for help. I also would
                  never mention the weapon. No3 I have to say that both of you are seem less
                  materialistic than the average , money grubbing Joe{i.e. Me} I want it all
                  and I want it now American currency thank you Eduard. Bill
                  nothing@... wrote:

                  > <<What would you do in the first Five minutes after:
                  >
                  > 1. Your wife tells you she is having an affair as you are driving
                  > through the mountains?
                  > 2. You come upon four twenty year olds raping and beating a
                  > female. You are in the woods and have a 9mm pistol but are one
                  > mile from aid?
                  > 3. You just won 8million dollars? >>
                  >
                  > I think it is unfair that I thought about this before answering. In
                  > fact, I read 'Duard's answers before answering (excuse me for
                  > finding it humorous that philosophy has an effect on behavior,
                  > but place doesn't matter...). At the same time, I don't know if I find
                  > these to necessarily be philosophically related. Either that, or I
                  > am not sure how to fit the philosophical perspective in. The initial
                  > impact would probably be an emotional one, and 5 minutes is
                  > not a lot of time. The philosophy, that I would react to the
                  > immediate situation and my interest in it. At the same time,
                  > some of my reaction might attest to earlier points I tried to make
                  > that a philosophy is not necessarily incapacitating. I can
                  > convince myself of the idea of the philosophy, and yet it may not
                  > directly affect/effect behavior. Absurd philosophy is more a
                  > philosophy of intellectual construct than physical action.
                  >
                  > 1. I would think the mountains would have quite an effect on the
                  > result. For example, say we were headed to the mountains for a
                  > second honeymoon -- to a mountain resort where we had our
                  > first honeymoon; or say the person with whom she had the affair
                  > (is having) lives on the mountain. On the other hand, say she
                  > were having an affair with another woman, or, say, a clown
                  > because she liked his rubber nose, or, say, an imaginary affair
                  > with a super-hero cartoon character. The situation would affect
                  > the outcome as much as place.
                  >
                  > However, more than any of this mattering is the intent. With one
                  > whom you trust your life, there should be respect and some
                  > measure of partnership. the depth of betrayal is also linked to
                  > the effect. Other circumstance (children, etc.) come into
                  > emotional play. But if one does not consider the act as itself as
                  > betrayal and considers interest and less tangible need, there
                  > may not even be reason to be upset.
                  >
                  > In short, you can talk yourself into and out of anything. What do
                  > you want to convince yourself of? It will end up being impossible
                  > to tell if your reaction is genuine, new, improved or otherwise.
                  >
                  > Philosophically, I would like to suggest that I would have the
                  > sense to find out where she wanted to go with it, and take a
                  > course accordingly. It is also obvious to me that there is no
                  > reasoning with emotion. If she were having interests elsewhere,
                  > it is not for me to step in the way, and it is not in my best interest
                  > to do so. I would hope not to pick a spouse so poorly in the first
                  > place. However, one can never tell, and then things change. In
                  > any case it will be another day tomorrow, and there is time to
                  > re-evaluate to gain a new perspective, and put the relationship
                  > into perspective -- either to continue it, or not.
                  >
                  > 2. If I am sure how many bullets are in the gun and I am
                  > confident handling it, and I could be sure of the situation, there
                  > would either be a shot in the air or shouting and waving for the
                  > purpose of threatening. It is not up to me to take a life -- even of
                  > what I might perceive to be a foul human. If it were possible to
                  > secure them in some fashion, that would be my choice.
                  >
                  > At the same time, philosophically I am not sure where I would
                  > stand. It is difficult when philosophy does not consider physical
                  > violence as any means. I can honestly say that in my lifetime I
                  > have never been in a fight -- regardless of verbal jousting. I have
                  > had people angry at me (at least 2 of those times a gun has
                  > appeared in situations where someone was angry with me), and
                  > several have swung (only one connected). It becomes difficult to
                  > understand the philosophical perspective that would bring
                  > someone to these perspecitves. And I guess my only recourse is
                  > to treat the situation with distrust. I can't understand the behavior,
                  > but know I would instinctually find it wrong -- she should not be
                  > held against her will, something in the wrongness of that is
                  > enough to overcome my usual perspective.
                  >
                  > 3. Put away enough to make life comfortable (a critical mass, as
                  > it were), and use the rest to explore interests while offering
                  > opportunity to others via creation of scenarios (businesses, etc.).
                  > It becomes more of a game at that point as one is free of the
                  > work bondage. I happen to like my job, but there are other things
                  > I might prefer, or be more interested, in exploring.
                  >
                  > And so...I have no use for a definition of 'reaction' sir 'Duard. I ask
                  > you for definitions because yours always seem inconsistent or
                  > unclear to me. I wouldn't need the definitions to figure out what it
                  > was you thought you were saying...But I can't really blame you for
                  > not tailoring your words to my understanding.
                  >
                  > Bill, were you expecting something else? and how would you
                  > answer?
                  >
                  > vico...joyce
                  > --------------
                  >
                  >
                  > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                  > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
                  >
                  > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                  > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • nothing@theabsurd.com
                  I don t know as if I d say related as much as that the responsibility seems to fall with the
                  Message 8 of 9 , Sep 1, 2001
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                    << No2: ...Interestinglly bookdoc related to the victim while >>

                    I don't know as if I'd say 'related' as much as that the
                    responsibility seems to fall with the chance that I had entered
                    into the situation, and seem the only catalyst for change — and
                    deemed change positive. Violating the rights of one for the
                    pleasure of many is not right from my perspecitve (it would not,
                    potentially serve the best interests of all). She would seemingly
                    wish for a break, and the others needed to remove themselves
                    from activity to discover motive/interest in their actions.

                    <<I have taken courses in weapons self defense and have
                    friends who are practical shooters. They approach the situation
                    with very set rules. If you produce a weapon you must be willing
                    to kill with it. Shoot to kill, two rounds per target. >>

                    Understood, which is what I meant to suggest by 'knowing the
                    gun.' However, if all were naked, with no sign of clothes or other
                    place for hiding weapons, I might suggest that one killed may
                    demoralize, one killed and 3 wounded would perhaps sway the
                    upper hand (if not total numbers), and if there were even one
                    shot left after that (a practical possibility), it may be that pain and
                    fear in the wounded would not make for a rally. I would suspect
                    that if there are 4 men on one woman (which is hardly a fight, no
                    matter who the woman is) they would probably not be well
                    armed.

                    There are, of course, many other unmentioned factors:
                    landscape, distance, detection (they of me), etc.

                    Sorry to disappoint your wife. However, if her response was to
                    play the lone ranger, it is as good a response as any of ours --
                    and perhaps more so as it speaks of more interest and
                    involvement. There is no safer place to postulize, fantasize and
                    become a hero than in your own imagination, and I am sorry to
                    have floundered the opportunity in order to appear honest.

                    yuck.
                    ------
                  • William Harris
                    Bookdoc, I think your response is that of a reasoned individual in the face of barbaric and savage behavior. We just had a terrible mass murder in Sioux City
                    Message 9 of 9 , Sep 4, 2001
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                      Bookdoc, I think your response is that of a reasoned individual in the face
                      of barbaric and savage behavior. We just had a terrible mass murder in
                      Sioux City Iowa, seven stabbed and bludgeoned. Just going through this
                      exercise has made me rethink my ideas regarding firearms and their limited
                      use in this type of situation. As far as your philosophy is concerned it
                      would seem that we all strove to do the least harm . That is a humanistic
                      response , a response worthy of an existentialist. Perhaps just walking into
                      the open, sitting down and weeping might do the most good Bill

                      nothing@... wrote:

                      > << No2: ...Interestinglly bookdoc related to the victim while >>
                      >
                      > I don't know as if I'd say 'related' as much as that the
                      > responsibility seems to fall with the chance that I had entered
                      > into the situation, and seem the only catalyst for change — and
                      > deemed change positive. Violating the rights of one for the
                      > pleasure of many is not right from my perspecitve (it would not,
                      > potentially serve the best interests of all). She would seemingly
                      > wish for a break, and the others needed to remove themselves
                      > from activity to discover motive/interest in their actions.
                      >
                      > <<I have taken courses in weapons self defense and have
                      > friends who are practical shooters. They approach the situation
                      > with very set rules. If you produce a weapon you must be willing
                      > to kill with it. Shoot to kill, two rounds per target. >>
                      >
                      > Understood, which is what I meant to suggest by 'knowing the
                      > gun.' However, if all were naked, with no sign of clothes or other
                      > place for hiding weapons, I might suggest that one killed may
                      > demoralize, one killed and 3 wounded would perhaps sway the
                      > upper hand (if not total numbers), and if there were even one
                      > shot left after that (a practical possibility), it may be that pain and
                      > fear in the wounded would not make for a rally. I would suspect
                      > that if there are 4 men on one woman (which is hardly a fight, no
                      > matter who the woman is) they would probably not be well
                      > armed.
                      >
                      > There are, of course, many other unmentioned factors:
                      > landscape, distance, detection (they of me), etc.
                      >
                      > Sorry to disappoint your wife. However, if her response was to
                      > play the lone ranger, it is as good a response as any of ours --
                      > and perhaps more so as it speaks of more interest and
                      > involvement. There is no safer place to postulize, fantasize and
                      > become a hero than in your own imagination, and I am sorry to
                      > have floundered the opportunity in order to appear honest.
                      >
                      > yuck.
                      > ------
                      >
                      >
                      > Our Home: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/existlist
                      > (Includes community book list, chat, and more.)
                      >
                      > TO UNSUBSCRIBE from this group, send an email to:
                      > existlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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