A Novel After Kafka
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Anxious Pleasures takes Franz Kafka's profoundly haunting and sad comic novella, The Metamorphosis, and reanimates it through the vantage points of those who surrounded Gregor Samsa during his plight. All the familiar characters are here, including the hysterical mother, stern father, faithless sister, and the pragmatic household cook. But we are also introduced to, among others, the would-be author downstairs who daydreams of the narrative he may someday compose and a young woman in contemporary London reading Kafka's slim book for the first time. Or do they all comprise a few of the disturbing dreams from which Gregor is about to snap awake one morning to find himself transformed into a monstrous vermin? In the tradition of Michael Cunningham's The Hours and John Gardner's Grendel, Olsen's novel not only represents a collaboration with a ghost, but, too, a celebration, augmentation, complication, and devoted unwriting of a momentously influential text.
Counterpoint LLC, 9781593761356, 179pp.
Publication Date: February 1, 2007
About the Author
Lance Olsen is author of more than 20 books of and about innovative writing practices. His short stories, essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in hundreds of journals, magazines, and anthologies, including Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Fiction International, Iowa Review, Hotel Amerika, Village Voice, Time Out New York, BOMB, Gulf Coast, McSweeney's, and Best American Non-Required Reading. He is a Guggenheim and an N.E.A. fellowship recipient, winner of the Berlin Prize and a Pushcart, and former governor-appointed Idaho Writer-in-Residence. His novel Tonguing the Zeitgeist was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. Olsen currently teaches experimental narrative theory and practice at the University of Utah.
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