|Young Woman Drawing (1801)
I can’t believe I have never read Kafka. So with this surprising fact in mind I dived into this short story for my Deal-Me-In Challenge. Perhaps I expected too much …
The narrator immediately makes the reader acquainted with his challenges with this “little woman”. She has complete contempt for him and his life, and his perceptions appear wrapped up in her treatment of him. However, he reveals that she is almost a stranger to him, yet nevertheless, she disparages and demeans him incessantly and with impunity. She even goes as far as to ellict people’s compassion for her struggles to tolerate him, not by revealing them, but by exhibiting a demeanour of quiet suffering.
I did not understand this story at all, nor did I find it the slightest bit compelling. Given that the narrator reveals that the woman is nearly a stranger to him, one cannot even imagine her as a wife or sister or mother and so there it ends. How can one be interested in a relationship that is not one, nor experience annoyance that is based on nothing tangible? Apparently Kafka based the little woman on his landlady when he lived in Berlin-Steglitz.
In spite of this less than inspiring story, I am looking forward to reading more of Kafka with hopefully a different reaction to his works.
Next week, I’ll be reading the short story Le Horla by Guy Maupassant. I’ll attempt to read it in French but it’s rather long so I’ll have to see if my skills are up to it. Stay tuned …..
Week 2 – Deal Me In Challenge – Nine of Clubs