Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kafka, Walser, Galchen: An Eternal Golden Braid

At The Rumpus, my F.S. Bekah (aka "M. Rebekah Otto"!) reads Robert Walser by way of/in conjunction with Rivka Galchen:

Why couldn’t I focus on The Tanners? At first I thought the problem lay in my reading style. Since high school I have been a note-taker. Stars, hearts, exclamation points, interrobangs line my notebooks alongside page numbers and brief, fleeting ideas: “pg. 85 does the plot move?” “pg. 98 metaphors?!!!” “pg. 118 art? ‘life is short when you’re distrustful…’”

My notes do not compete with Walser’s microscripts in size, but they may be similarly obsessive. I take notes every other page or so, so it is no surprise that my reading is slow-going. But, a comrade to Walser, I like my notes. I can look back at Atmospheric Disturbances from my own perspective: “she really likes the word ‘ersatz’” “pg. 100 if the novel is a collective fantasy/insanity, is the narrator crazy? the author? the reader?” “pg. 159 ‘the errors of a suspected psychosis.’”

* * *

Safety-deposit Kafka.

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