Magazine article The Nation

Kafka: Father and Son

Magazine article The Nation

Kafka: Father and Son

Article excerpt

A worse case: Kafka: Father and Son, by Mark Rozovsky, arrived at the morgue recently after receiving, as far as I know, no more than two paragraphs of mention anywhere--and those paragraphs a spade and a shovel. Rozovsky, who write Strider: Story of a Horse, is a Soviet author who would have liked to attend La Mama's American premiere of his Kafka play but was not permitted to by his government. That, along with the title of his play, led me to expect a satire on bureaurcracy and tyranny. In fact the play is strictly psychological. We see Kafka, 36, quarreling with his elderly Father. Son is thinking of getting married. Doubts and terrors plague him. There's much to discuss.

So they talk, which is to say, spend an evening knifing each other with truths. Father has always loomed like a giant in Son's eyes and has crushed him with his giant's power and insensitivity. So Son declares, and we believe him. Father replies that power and insensitivity are the staff of life. Father is crude, simple, joyful. Son could use a little of these qualities. That is equally believable. Father complains that endless accusations from Son have weighed him down, that it has been terrible to receive nothing but blame. Son is a parasite; he sucks his Father's blood. This, too, we accept. And Son replies that Father is still a giant--for these paternal accusations are undeniably just and utterly devastating and they have crushed Son once again. True! …

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