Saturday, 5 November 2016

The trial (o processo [Portuguese])

By Franz Kafka:
Fnac.com. (2016). O Processo - Franz Kafka em Fnac.pt. [online] Available at: http://www.fnac.pt/O-Processo-Franz-Kafka/a84874 [Accessed 5 Nov. 2016].
A novel of anxiety, persecution, paranoia, where death is the freedom. Some quotes:
  • «(...) it was in everyone's interest to bring proceedings quickly to their conclusion, but on the other hand every aspect of the examinations had to be carried out thoroughly without lasting too long because of the associated stress. For these reasons, it had been decided to hold a series of brief examinations following on one after another. Sunday had been chosen as the day for the hearings so that K. would not be disturbed in his professional work. (...) if he wished for another date then, as far as possible, he would be accommodated. (...) could even be held in the night, for instance, but K. would probably not be fresh enough at that time.»
  • «(...) this invitation from the deputy director, with whom he had never got on very well, meant that he was trying to improve his relations with him. It showed how important K. had become (...) and how its second most important official seemed to value his friendship, or at least his impartiality.»
  • «(...) advisable to prepare a written defense (...). In it he would offer a brief overview of his life, and for each event of any particular importance, explain why he had acted as he did, whether in his present judgment this course of action deserved approval or censure, and what reasons he could advance for the one or the other.»
  • «Now and then he [Leni] gave K. a few empty admonitions, as if talking to a child. Speeches as useless as they were boring, (...).»
  • «(...) the first impression made by the defense often influenced the whole course of the proceedings.»
  • «For the lawyers — and even the least important of them has at least a partial overview of the circumstances — are far from wishing to introduce or carry out any sort of improvement in the court system; (...). Just don't attract attention! Keep calm, no matter how much it seems counter to good sense. (...) this vast judicial organism remains (...) in a state of eternal equilibrium, (...) if you change something on your own where you are, you can cut the ground out from under your own feet and fall, while the vast organism easily compensates for the minor disturbance at some other spot — after all, everything is interconnected — and remains unchanged; (...).»
  • «Reproaches are of little value, particularly when it seems the full import of what has caused them cannot be conveyed, (...).»
  • «“Is that an officially recognized position?” “No,” said the painter (...): “Well, such unofficial positions often carry more influence than ones that are recognized.”»
  • «(...) sitting in front of him and taken by surprise by his dismissal, K. would be able easily to infer everything he wanted from the lawyer's face and behaviour, (...).»
  • «Merely by being in possession of a thick overcoat he felt his advantage over this thin little man.»
  • «"(...) I dislike your anxiety and fear and see that you don't have the trust in me you should have. (...)."»
  • «It would not have been difficult for him to turn down most of these jobs, but he did not dare to do so because, if his fears had the slightest foundation, turning the jobs down would have been an acknowledgement of them.»
  • «"(...) Above all, the free man is superior to the man who has to serve another. (...)."»
  • «(...) "the only thing I can do now is keep my common sense and do what's needed right till the end. (...) Should I go out like someone stupid? (...)."»
  • «"(...) the slightest uncertainty in the least significant of matters will always remain a cause of suffering and if, as in this case, it can be removed without substantial effort, then it is better if that is done without delay."»
  • "Gradually (...) they met so often together that all differences of culture, profession and age have become blurred.»
  • «(...), he was very courteous and very modest before everyone and, most important thing even than the courtesy and modesty, he could distinguish between the different hierarchical levels of gentlemen and deal with each man according to his condition.»
  • «He should not make believe to the interim director he was over (...); he should disturb his calm, he should realize as often as possible that K. was alive and, like everything that lives, he was capable of surprise him one day with new features, even if now he seemed very harmless.»
  • «(...) he avoided neglect or jump over the minimum difficulty; (...).»
  • «They are lower-level employees, and the last of the nulls; (...) So it is virtually impossible to raise them obstacles; no strange hand knew to raise on their way an obstacle equal to their stupidity (...).»