And another one. They seemed to have been having a gazania week in the store when I took these photos.
And another one. They seemed to have been having a gazania week in the store when I took these photos.
I read a lot, various authors and various subjects so I am not inspired by any particular author. Either it is a good book and impresses me, or I just write it off as being read, nothing special. There are books that do leave an imprint behind, something not to be forgotten. I would not be writing in the style of an author or paying homage. There are too many good authors out there and imitation is not my idea of flattery.
Anyone ever read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka? Probably the fewer amongst us. Kafka is not every man’s thing. On my quest for learning something about the literature of other countries I decided to see what this Kafka was all about. Perhaps I am especially honoured to be able to read Kafka in original German, although he was born in Prague, Czech Republic, so most probably he was not writing in his mother tongue.
Anyhow I started with The Castle and got my first taste of strange; a castle governing the surrounding village with beaurocracy. The main character in the book wanting to arrive at the castle. His ways followed many paths, but did he get to the castle? To be quite honest I am not sure, but I do not think he did. So is Kafka, full of unanswered questions. Then I decided to read The Process. A man accused of a crime, although what the crime was is still shrouded in mystery for me. He was subject to a process and found guilty and I think, am almost sure, he faced a death sentence at the end of the book. Sorry for being a little uncertain, but Kafka has a way of uncertainties. The Verdict had about six different endings. Either Kafka could not make up his mind, left the end open, or a few other authors tried to conclude the novel. Actually I quite enjoyed the book, but it was an exhausting experience.
I am not a wise reader, just enjoy reading and Kafka is an adventure in itself. Now to my favourite book written by Kafka which is such a favourite that I read it twice to make sure I did not miss anything. I am now returning to The Metamorphosis. A man, Gregor Samsa, awakes one morning and finds he is laying on his back in bed. Nothing strange, but Gregor awakes with eight spindly legs. Overnight he has become a beetle. His human body has undergone a metamorphosis. He eventually manages to turn his body after many strenuous attempts, landing on his legs. He hides from everyone. What will mum and dad say? What will anyone think?
Of course Kafka is not just telling a tale of mystery and horror. He is showing what happens when you are an outcast, no-one wants to know you, let us just ignore him and he will go away. The story takes many twists and turns. The only person that bothers about this transformed human body is Gregor Samsa’s sister. She brings him food, looks after him, but even her patience is eventually exhausted. At one stage in the story Gregor becomes the victim of assault. An apple is thrown at him and embeds itself in his armoured back. Needless to say this does not help. Eventually Gregor is left alone in his room, the sister abandons her brother and he dies, shrivels into a dried insect, still with a rotting apple wedged in his back. The End – Kafka was never known for happy endings.
This is not a homage to Kafka and if I could write in his style I would have received my Booker/Nobel/Pulitzer prize many years ago, plus selling movie rights to the films of my books. Even Kafka has been filmed. Generally in black and white which fits the bleak subject matter of his writings. The Trial was filmed with both Anthony Perkins and Anthony Hopkins in the leading role. The Castle was a German production with the late Ulrich Mühe, who is probably not known by most of the readers.
Metamorphosis is a book that left an insect trail of tiny footprints in my mind. I just love the strange and mysterious. So if you go to bed in the evening and think tomorrow is going to be just another day, think about Gregor Samsa. You might awake to be someone different. Just remember all the people you know that are different, perhaps isolated, ignored, like Gregor Samsa.
It was last year in February that the storm hit and we were carefully watching the local trees. One of them had been a little weak for sometime, and now the winds did the remainder of the work. We were worried that it might fall into our gardens, but it fell on the wall of the local bicycle shed and now the Swiss lumberjacks were called to clear the remains away.
I was naturally watching from my window with the camera ready and so the guy began to chop away at various trees which were in his eyes presenting a threat to our safety, although I was sure he went a little too far.
One of my favourite trees opposite our place, was the one with the magpie nest in the top branches. The nest had not been occupied for at least 5 years, but it was there in Summmer and Winter. According to the eyes of a lumberjack (OK a Swiss lumberjack) this tree had to go and now it is no longer there.
And so they chopped away to their heart’s content. Eventally the machine appeared that converts the wood into small chips. I thought we were now in the forests of a Canada.
Although I must say that the storm did leave traces everywhere in the neighbourhood, even in the local cemetery. Yes, nothing was spared.
At least the snow has now disappeared, although our part of Switzerland did not get so much- I remember in my working days, when today would have been the first day back at work. Then it always snowed. After clear weather during the holidays it returned with a vengence. Now we no longer go back to work, because we are golden oldies, and so the snow has stayed away. Must be a moral to that one somewhere, but I have not yet found it.
And what did I do yesterday? I decided to bake a lemon tart in the afternoon. I had meaning to make one for some weeks, but never got around to it and now it is done. Actually quite easy: ready made pastry from the store and a self composed filling of 2 eggs, lemon juice (from a freshly pressed lemon of mine), sugar and some cornflour and just bake it in the oven for about 30 minutes. Makes a change from apple tart, although I still have about 50 apples from my tree stored in the cellar.
Otherwise I was at home during the day busy with some computer work and reading in the evening. Lately my reading had suffered because I had been busy with the extra work I have taken over from Mr. Swiss who can no longer manage trips into town accompanying me on the shopping tour.
I am reading the 5th and up to date last book in the “Invisible Library” series by Genevieve Cogman. I have already read the first four books. As an avid reader the series interested me, but you have to like a bit of fantasy. It is a library land where special books are kept and hunted down for various reasons. Irene is a spy for the library, searching for various books at various times in history. The library personnel can move from one era to another through a door in the library where they work- Dragons are involved and fae. The last book that I am reading is situated in Paris when cars were first appearing on the roads, side by side with horse carriages – some time at the beginning of the 19th century.
Today is the first day when we are free of bothersome holidays getting the food supplies. I am glad to go on a normal shopping trip without having to plan for days ahead. How I have now realise how Christmas is a disturbance to normal routine. I will now be getting ready, with a shower and a bit of tidying up. Since I am now doing it all on my own, I have been working out a new plan of action. I usually go shopping first of all, and do an hours cleaning when return home, which makes a late dinner. I have decided to do half the cleaning before I go shopping, which leaves less stress when I arrive home, I hope. We will see.
Have a good day everyone, and see you around later.
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