Kafka's Last Pipes: The Burrow and Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk

Kafka's Last Pipes: The Burrow and Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk

by John P. Anderson


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Fresh from the twilight zone of Kafka's The Metamorphosis, this non-academic author treats on a line by line basis two of Kafka's last stories, stories written while he was wheezing with tuberculosis. Not surprisingly, these stories features pipes, just what Kafka was thinking about all the time while he was bed ridden, his sore pipes. Kafka experienced the threat of death at the same time as he experienced the love of his life with Dora Diamant. In these two stories Kafka spot-lights fear and love, the most basic human issues and those that had taken possession of Kafka's life. Fear and love in the lives of a mole-like creature alone in a burrow and mice in a crowded colony. In stories with no humans, Kafka teaches us what is most important in being human.

The Burrow examines fear-based isolation of a mole-like creature living all alone in his underground burrow. The only connection with others is fear-based taking, taking by claws and teeth. You are either the diner or dinner, never a guest or host. You are alone but not independent because fear eats your life possibilities independence could give. You are your own worst enemy.

Josephine the Singer features love-based giving through art, Kafka's last word on the purpose of art. Like a loving parent giving to her child, the artist mouse Josephine attempts to inspire independent individuality in other mice in the colony through the example of her unique and spontaneous singing. This she gives free of charge. Because of fear of survival stoked by the colony leadership, the rest of the mouse collective hears her singing as a mouse but not as an individual. They remain in fear-based group think with reduced life possibilities.

In both stories, the issue is the effect of fear or love on independent individual identity and life possibilities. For Kafka, this was the uber human issue as he prepared to meet his maker.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781627340823
Publisher: Universal-Publishers.com
Publication date: 11/09/2016
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)

Table of Contents

Section I: Introduction 11

Fear and Love: Taking and Giving 11
Pipes 11
Kafka as the Pied Piper 13
Kafka's Last Pied Pipes 15
Personal Pipes 16

Section II: The Burrow 19

Opus One 19
Pipes of Worry 20
In the Burrow Where You Live 22
Me and My Hissing Shadow 23
As Time Goes By 23
I Got Plenty of Nothing 25
The Echo of Your Fear 25
Cape Fearless 26
Inside Out 26
I Still Haven't Found What I Am Looking For:
Talking First Person 28
Talking Verbs 29
Kafka Primer 31
The Eternal 32
The Sound and the Worry 33
Identity 34
Style 35
Kafka Himself 35
The End 37
Metaphysics of the Construction of This Story 38
Text of the Burrow 39

Section III: Josephine the Singer,
or the Mouse Folk 117

The Last Pipe 117
Title 119
Either/Or 120
What We Learn 121
Truth, Individual and Collective 123
Narrator 123
Josephine 125
Mouse House Entropy 127
Whistling: Officer Mice and
Enlisted Mice 130
Soul Tests 132
Soul Unification 135
Staying Alive but Small 137
Give and Take 138
Donor Music 139
Indestructible 140
Old Joseph 140
Kafka and Josephine 144
Modern Josephine 146
Point of Story 147
Two J's 150
Basic Questions 152
Ways and Means 153
Pipes 154
Ending 155
Art and Artiste and the Narrator 156
Text 157
The Lesson of J 221

Section IV: Sources 223

Appendix One 225

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