Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cities Fall In Ruin.

Jorge Lius Borges is a pretty famous author. He wrote mainly short stories, some of which i read the other month. The collection was called 'Labyrinths'. It comes highly recommended.

Anyway, i read something about Borges, where he writes that all writers create their precursors. That is to say, that all authors create the thematic and creative expanse of those who came before them because it is they themselves who came out of that expanse.

Sounds kinda theoretical and a little lame right? I kinda thought so too, until when i remembered the time i read Kafka's 'The Trial' and Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment". At the time I had read that Kafka had just read "Crime and Punishment" when he wrote "The Trial", and that the two should be read together.

Rather that do the more logical think of reading "Crime and Punishment" first, i read it after Kafka. The result was that i read it through a distinct Kafka-esque window. The Kafka themes like confusion, alienation, bureaucratic shitstorms were the things that jumped out at me when reading Dostoevsky, rather than, for example, poverty or the rising urban classes.

Without realising, i had just allowed Kafka to create, for me, the very author he had been inspired by. Dostoevsky had become, bizarrely, Kafka-esque.

I guess the musical equivalent of this is listening to the Beatles before Elvis, then thinking Elvis sounds a bit Beatlesy.

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