I remember when I first read The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka. I'd first read The Hunger Artist--one of Kafka's popularly anthologized short stories. Both works offer different views of alienation--one character becomes a bug (cockroach/beetle?); the other makes himself into a hunger spectacle for his art.
He also wrote:
- "From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true."
- "One can disintegrate the world by means of very strong light. For weak eyes the world becomes solid, for still weaker eyes it seems to develop fists, for eyes weaker still it becomes shamefaced and smashes anyone who dares to gaze upon it."
- "You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid."
How does Franz Kafka affect your view of life and literature? Does you intently--and with personal feeling--understand the alienation of his characters?