Another Kafka story which equally baffled me and even more sinister if you found that Noh-influenced Japanese short anime film. Its a story about a doctor and the snow stormy night when he was called out to meet a patient but weird things started happening to him which is hard to explain what happened exactly.
Personally this is more in line towards the Absurdist element than Melville’s Bartleby does since this novel is like a ride with Fringe’s Dr Walter Bishop on LSD. Unfortunately this story seemed to revolve around the idea of rape too. In fact, when the doctor’s horse died from the chill, a man gave him horses for his trip and seemingly went after the maid while the doctor speed to his patient house. Then later the patient’s family undress him and push him inside the bed naked and everything seemed to went against all sense of reasoning and so we’re left in a paranoid loop by the author and his character and neither of us could even make sense of anything.
Honestly, if there are more clarity in this story, I would have been impressed by it. There are moment when I got suck into the story like Edgar Allan Poe’s Tell-tale Heart and Raven, but then Kafka just pull out every strand of conscience and reality and jumble it all out and throw it out of the window.
There’s also a recurrent element of self-deprecating and suicide which was again the focus from the style and it wouldn’t be as menacing had it be more subtle. Kafka was an interesting character with a really dark passenger inside him. But it became obvious that while most touted him as a great influence in “existentialism”, all I see was a man grasping at his sanity and becoming aware of the futility of his reality which was suffocating him.