Another Kafkaesqe Moment

Yesterday my wife and I experienced another kafkaesque moment. As I explain in a previous post the term kafkaesque is a literary description of a work that has a similar feel to that of a work by the writer Franz Kafka. His works give the reader a surreal feeling of subtle terror. He does this by throwing his characters into situations where they are confronted with unacceptable or unreasonable circumstances. The reader is forced to accept the unacceptable because of the nonchalant way the characters including even the protagonist accept the situation. For instance being transformed overnight with no explanation into a giant bug. Or being placed under arrest but refused the right to know under what charge or who is bringing the charge against you. 

Every Monday and Friday morning I teach an English class to a young man from the republic of Guinea. I always now carry my documents in my back pocket for easy access if I’m about to be arrested. It’s a good thing I did too because that Monday morning ‘Control of Foreigners’ was in full swing. Often just called ‘Control’ the measures which include checkpoints and random vehicle searches are thought to prevent anti-terrorist activity. This particular ‘Control’ has everyone confused, as Chinese who are not usually targeted and even natives are being stopped and questioned. Anyways we arrived at our location without being stopped by the police. However when we stepped out of the car we noticed people being questioned some already wearing handcuffs. My pupil had a worried look on his face as he peered through the crack of his iron door. We were ushered in and he began bolting the door. Just as he secured the first bolt, someone began kicking the door and shouting. 

“Open the door! If you don’t open we’re going to break it down!” 

This, by the way is unusual as home invasions are rare. But as I said before this particular Control is unusual. As far as we could tell anything was on the table. Even home raids. Nevertheless after a few tense minutes the police drove away with the ‘suspects’ they had arrested. Considering all that had just happened (it was my students cousin they had arrested) I wasn’t sure if he was up to having the lesson. Who am I kidding? I wasn’t sure if I was up to giving the lesson. But my student pulled out his chalkboard and secured it to the wall. Minutes later we were practicing the unique English ‘R’ sound which is difficult for many French speakers. After the hour long lesson my student changed his mind and decided to open his store. He had resolved to stay closed all day but his customers wouldn’t hear of it. They showed up and chided him for being a coward. They acted as if the morning events were no big deal. I would describe the entire event as another kafkaesque moment.

– William Chasterson 

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book.  When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

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THE TRIAL

Of late I’ve been feeling like Joseph Ka, a character from Franz Kafka’s book ‘The Trial’. Ka 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 Ka 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 Ka 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 Ka, 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 Ka 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 Ka’s fate.

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Inspirational Quotes

“All of us are delusional but most of us have the poor misfortune of choosing the wrong delusion.”

– William Chasterson

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book.  When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

What does Kafkaesque mean?

The term kafkaesque is literary description of a work that has a similar feel to that of a work by the writer Franz Kafka. His works give the reader a surreal feeling of subtle terror. He does this by throwing his characters into situations where they are confronted with unacceptable or unreasonable circumstances. The reader is forced to accept the unacceptable because of the nonchalant way the characters including even the protagonist accept the situation. For instance being transformed overnight with no explanation into a giant bug. Or being placed under arrest but refused the right to know under what charge or who is bringing the charge against you. 

I’ll give an example of a situation that actually happened to me that I could only describe as kafkaesque. A friend and I were walking down the street talking when suddenly a conversation from some elderly people in his tribal dialect caught his attention. He stopped and said something doesn’t smell right. All at once police officers dressed in black with the words, “NATIONAL SECURITY” displayed on their backs appeared on every corner. They immediately began arresting people. My friend had his umbrella up to protect us from the sun so he instinctively covered my face with it and told me to act calm. I should probably take a moment and explain my situation. As an American my documents are in order. Americans are welcome in the country and viewed highly by the authorities. But you see I am an African American which is rare in this country. When the police look at me they see an African foreigner from a neighboring country. This means I have no rights. They can rough me up all they like and ask questions later. At the end of the day when they realize I’m an American they’ll have to let me go. But what I’ll have to endure before they come to that realization is unpleasant. It’s easier just to run and hide along with the other undocumented foreigners. I never imagined I would be facing this kind of reverse racism when I decided to come to Africa. Anyways…Back to the story. While the police arrested a man right in front of us my friend calmly pulled me into a store to by a can of soda. He conversed nonchalantly with the store owner even laughing. I of course tried to be very calm on the outside though I was bugging out on the inside. In fact I noticed everyone was very calm except for the people being arrested. Once they had on the handcuffs they too were resigned to the situation and became calm. At this point I felt like a character in a Franz Kafka book. Though police were everywhere we ducked out of the store and into an alley. My friend spoke loudly to me in his tribal dialect to throw off the officers. We entered a small section of woods, crossed a river and discovered suddenly that their were officers searching through the woods. We quickly exited and ascended towards a main road. But as we got there an armored truck full of military personnel was driving by. They passed us but then suddenly stopped and began to reverse the vehicle. Again my friend instinctively blocked my face with his umbrella but this time he simultaneously hailed a taxi. As we sped off I could see the soldiers peering into the taxi to see if it carried any foreigners. However they didn’t bother to stop us because there was plenty of low hanging fruit surrounding them. The taxi dropped us off in an isolated neighborhood where we could visit another friend until the invasion was ended. I was agitated for the rest of the night but my friends were indifferent. They soon seemed to have forgotten that we were just running from the police. By the time we returned home it was dark out. The foreigners were back on the streets laughing and talking as if nothing had even happened. To me, describing the events of this day is the best way I can think of to answer the question: “What does kafkaesque mean?

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book.  When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

HOME INVASION

I’m trying not to run for my keyboard every time something happens. Especially considering I have an approaching deadline to finish my book ‘Metaphysical Man the Don Quijote of the Digital Age’. Nevertheless I feel as if I need to write about something that happened last night especially since it ties in with something I mentioned in a previous post. And that’s home invasions. 

Yesterday my wife and I were approached on the street by a soldier who wanted to know who we were, what we were doing and where we are from. As he questioned us I noticed a truck full of his fellow officers emptying onto the street preparing for a raid. While we explained our nationality using strong American accents many others were arrested and loaded into the trucks. As I said, I wasn’t planning on writing about this event as it is becoming commonplace. But the same night we heard some sort of altercation occurring behind our house. I peeked out the window and saw an angry soldier yelling at the neighbors in broken English about something. Suddenly the large soldier walked to the wooden window of the neighboring house, lifted his powerful leg which was decked in blue  camouflage which if I’m not mistaken indicates the Air Force. With his shiny black combat boot he noisily smashed in the wooden window while the neighbors stood by afraid to interfere. After a while a bare arm came out the window and threw something onto the ground. It could have been his documents but it was most likely money. The soldier picked it up and walked away satisfied.

We have the proper documents but I’d be lying if I said the accelerating aggressiveness of this particular ‘Control’ doesn’t have me a little worried. I can’t help but wondering, will my home eventually be raided?   

Are you a fan of Don Quijote? You may enjoy this new book. When Metaphysical Man, Atro City’s resident superhero and trendsetter is inadvertently sucked into an alternate world by a mysterious super villain he’s forced to overcome his only weakness; reality. Read more at http://smashwords.com/books/view/540303#amreading #amwriting

 

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!!

I would like to thank Jeanette Hall from Saintpblogging.com for nominating me for this prestigious award. This award means a lot to me because despite all the online activity it can get lonely out in the blogosphere. It’s nice to have a creative means to make connections.

 

PURPOSE OF THE AWARD

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a way for bloggers to get to know each other and also get other bloggers to connect with each other.

 

THE RULES

 

– Acknowledge and thank the nominating blogger with a link to there website.

 

– Share 11 random facts about yourself by answering the questions the nominating blogger has created for you.

 

– List 11 bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

 

– Let the 11 bloggers know you nominated them.

 

– Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer.

 

11 FACTS ABOUT ME FROM THE QUESTIONS LEFT ME BY THE NOMINATING BLOG:

 

1. Q: Who are your favorite published authors?

A: Franz Kafka, Fyodor Dostoyevski and Gerge Orwell (not necessarily in that order)

 

2. Q: What did you want to grow up to accomplish in your life?

A: I wanted to succeed. (Still trying to figure out what that means)

 

3. Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?

A: I don’t have one.

 

4. Q: If you got to choose your last meal in life, what would it be?

A: That depends on the circumstances of my death. If I’m being executed I would choose

buffalo wings and beer (don’t ask me why)

 

5. Q: What is your favorite temperature?

A: 63 degrees Fahrenheit

 

6. Q: Introvert or Extrovert?

A: Introvert

 

7. Q: What are your favorite past times?

A: Thinking, Listening to music or audiobooks.

 

8. Q: What about yourself would you change if you could?

A: I wish I didn’t have OCD.

 

9. Q: What scares you the most?

A: Finding incontrovertible proof that all of my ideas are the wrong ideas.

 

10. Q: Why do you blog?

A: The official reason is that I blog as a platform to sell my books but the truth is that I’m starved for attention.

 

11. Q: Who is your favorite musician?

A: Roger Waters

 

QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

 

1. Who are your 3 favorite authors?

2. Who are your 3 favorite musicians or bands? (preferably from different genres)

3. If you could change one thing in this world, what would it be?

4. What is your definition of friendship?

5. How important is it for you to be accepted by the majority?

6. If your home was all at once being engulfed in flames and you had time to grab only 3 items what would they be?

7. Who’s your favorite superhero and why?

8. Who’s your favorite super villain and why?

9. If you could sell out all your ideals in one business deal what would be the asking price?

10. If you had to choose between death and insanity what would you choose?

11. What is your greatest fear?

 

MY NOMINEES ARE:

 

http://bdhesse.wordpress.com

 

http://delightcircle.wordpress.com

 

http://momentarylapseofsanity.wordpress.com

 

http://tonysonblogger.wordpress.com

 

http://laurengancayco.wordpress.com

 

http://staycationatl.wordpress.com

 

http://stlh2oo.wordpress.com

 

http://fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com

 

http://dorkchopsworld.wordpress.com

 

http://14weeksworthofsocks.wordpress.com

 

http://spanishmossseries.wordpress.com

 

Thanks again Saintpblogging.com for the nomination!