introducing the grotesque
- As a new member of what I hope will be a fairly active list, I thought
I would introduce myself. My name is Andrew, I'm from near Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, USA, and have a bachelor's in English/Creative Writing
from Penn State. I'm 23 years old.
It has only been about a year and a half since I got into Kafka. I had
read "A Hunger Artist" about 100 times in high school and college, but
while I liked the story, I didn't study Kafka beyond that. I graduated
in May 2002 and in December that year I got Kafka's "Complete Stories"
as a Christmas present. I'm not sure why I asked for it over any of
the other hundreds of books I wanted, but I'm glad I did. It took me
until just a few weeks ago to finish the whole thing, as I'm always
reading various things at once, but even early on after I had finished
the first few stories I realized that Kafka had become my favorite
author. My adoration only increased as I read on. Now I have to read
the novels and the diaries.
Kafka's stories have impacted me more than anything I've ever read.
While you would think that liking him so much would make me read the
collection quickly, it actually had the opposite effect. Besides being
a procrastinator, each story made me want to sit back and reflect on
it, to more fully absorb it. And several times I have jumped back and
forth, reading certain stories multiple times. No other writer has
touched me on such a personal and emotional level as he, or influenced
my other writing so heavily. While my style is not always quite
Kafkaesque, I think some of the devices and concepts are similar, if
not executed in the same way. I've written a multi-section poem, with
one section titled "The Kafka Transition." I'm also working on a play
called "The Visitor" which is more stylistically "Kafkaesque" and
almost a blatant tribute (read: rip-off) to "Blumfeld, An Elderly
That's about it for now. I look forward to talking with more people
interested about this passion of mine.