Ha, psyche. (Remember that, “psyche”? That was almost as good as “Not!” but definitely not as good as “Faaaaace!” which may or may not have been local to Eastside Alternative Elementary School in 1983). But no, this is not the secret unplublished end to AMERIKA. That I have locked in a titanium safe, which is kept at the bottom of a shark tank, which itself is not filled with sharks so much as it is filled with double-edged razor blades on the ends of dismembered zebra penises, floating in a solution of grape Kool-Aid. You can’t be too careful these days. Until I deem you worthy of unearthing the secret unpublished end to Amerika, which I acquired in a trade for a vial of rare yak’s blood in a remote tavern in Lithuania in 1971, I will instead present you with some frequently asked questions about this very thingy.
Q: Who is this Kafka you speak of? Does he design for Alexander McQueen?
Ah, you’re thinking of Kockring, Helmuth Kockring, the designer. This site is dedicated to Franz Kafka, the dead person. He was born in 1883 in Prague, lived most of his life there (actually lived most of his life at his parents’ house), and died young of tuberculosis in a sanitorium in Austria in 1924. When I was in college, I got annoyed by quasi-intellectuals (and real ones) pretending to know more about Kafka than they did (including me–I annoyed myself), but now that I’m out in this ruffian world, it amazes me how many otherwise smart people have never heard of Franz Kafka, possibly the greatest writer in the early 20th Century. For a sampling of his best work (and some of the better work about him), you can check out the links to your right.
Q: Prague, huh? But that’s not in Germany. I thought he was German.
Ah, yes, it’s kind of complicated. When Kafka was born, Prague was part of the vast Austro-Hungarian empire and Prague was about half-half with Germans and Czechs. There were two sets of shops, two sets of schools, two subsections of the Charles University, where Kafka got his law degree, and two separate cultures living in the same city. Actually there were more than two, another one of which was the substantial Jewish community within the German community, of which the Kafkas were an affluent part. Kafka’s father ran a haberdashary (yes, really, he did) in Old Town Square. The site of the shop now houses the Franz Kafka bookstore, where tourists can buy all sorts of interesting Kafka-related stuff at bargain prices.
Q: I’ve been to Prague. It’s very nice.
Yes, it is. In the summer it’s congested with tourists, but it’s still beautiful.
Q: The food leaves something to be desired, though.
Not if you like fried cheese!
Q: So this dealie seems to be as much about you and me (yes, me, the writer of this imaginary question and the imaginary reader of the site) as much as it is about Kafka, but not in a “yesterday I went on a road trip with my roommates and it was sooooo awesome” kind of way. What exactly are you trying to do, shithead?
Well, fuckface, it is my personal belief (and thus absolute truth) that Kafka’s work is very relevant to our everyday lives, especially the frustrating parts but even the good ones. I think there are many assumptions about Kafka’s life and work which further research into both disprove and I find them fascinating and would like to share them.
Q: Fair enough, but will there be titties?
There may someday be titties, so stay tuned.
Q: What’s this link dealie on the right of the page where you’re asking me for money? Are you some kind of asshole or what?
Well, I am some kind of asshole, but I’ve also adapted Kafka’s great novel THE TRIAL for the stage. I’ve updated it and set it in New York and bastardized it to all sorts of magnificent effect–if Kafka’s dead ghost could only see it on stage, I’m sure it would roll around in its grave…with glee. It’s just that staging a play is very expensive (I have personal experience with this and am still owed money for a play I helped stage two years ago), and I would like to have some help.
Q: How much money do you have now?
Q: Well, you’ve got to start somewhere.
Precisely. So, I have set up this darling link to Paypal wherein caring theater and Kafka fans can donate $1, $2, or no dollars to my endeavor. I’m not sure if it will work, but it beats singing “Wonderwall” in the subway station.
Q: Are you going to eat the rest of that?
No, I’m stuffed. You’re welcome to it.