Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Notes from "Susan Sontag - Reborn - Journals and Notebooks 1947-1963"


In Schoenhof's [bookstore in Cambridge, Mass] today - waiting, nauseated again, for Philip to choose a book for [Professor Aron] Gurwitsch's birthday, after the Descartes Correspondance is discovered epuise- I opened a volume of Kafka short stories; at a page of "[The] Metamorphosis." It was like a physical blow, the absoluteness of his prose, pure actuality nothing forced or obscure. How I admire him above all writers! Beside him, Joyce is so stupid, Gide so- yes - sweet, Mann so hollow + bombastic. Only Proust is as interesting - almost. But Kafka has that magic of actuality in even the most dislocated phrase that no other modern has,  a kind of shiver + grinding blue ache in your teeth. As in [Robert Browning's] "Childe Roland to the dark tower came" - so certain pages in the Kafka diaries phrases - "But they cannot; all things possible to happen, only what happens is possible."

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