Of late I’ve been feeling like Josef K., a character from Franz Kafka’s book ‘The Trial’. K. is unexpectedly placed under arrest one morning although he has committed no crime. When asked why he’s being placed under arrest, by whose authority, and under what charges, the arresting officers tell him they have no instructions to tell him that. They reveal in fact that they do not even know what the charges are or even if he’s being charged with anything at all, because they are just lowly employees. Throughout the book K. displays a quality that is characteristic of Kafka’s protagonists. He displays an eerie patience and calm under unnatural circumstances. He only has one desire throughout the entire story which is denied him. He wants to know what it is he is being charged with. As the story progresses K. discovers to his dismay that in such cases guilt isn’t established with a final verdict but rather the verdict gradually becomes established based on the conduct of the defendant while on trial.
For the past few months I’ve been under suspicion by a group of people whom I considered to be my friends. The nature of the suspicion is vague and if it is known by all those involved I am being denied knowledge of what it is I’m suspected to have done. Like K. my reactions to the secret accusations seem to be the determining factor in how I’m being handled and ultimately what my final judgement will be. If it seems as if I’m being coy about the details regarding my situation, I promise you I’m not. Read ‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka or really any work by Kafka and you will understand what I’ve been going through for the past few months. You’ll experience the subtle terror that’s been robbing me of sleep every night. How can one defend himself against charges that are never actually filed? Against accusers who never actually step forward?
How the situation is affecting me
The stress is taking its toll on my productivity. Although I have at least two novels in my head waiting to burst forth onto the page, I can’t write. I wake up at 3:00 am every morning and can’t go back to sleep. Like K. I find myself adrift in a sea of confusion being swept along by the overpowering waves of the trial. I must try to get my bearings. Otherwise I fear I will share K.’s fate.