As the undoubted key to Kafka's creative work is the famous letter to his father. The most trivial realization of a clash between generations can be found so comprehensively, on a large scale, that it even satisfies the pedantry of the researcher, precisely in father-son relationships. However, the claim that such a reading of the letter in which Kafka pours out the hysteria of his "void" existence is too sharply focused is quite well founded. The expectations of the stranger with the biographical data surrounding the famous author of short stories that the main conflict between the two stems from some kind of disagreement at the level of ideas, the metaphysical, the existential, remain unjustified.


Reading these memoirs is shocking, unfortunate, disgusting. Some excerpts sound like the work of a teenager with an extraordinary gift of speech who attacks in his attempts to defend himself in the absence of a real opponent. Other passages vividly reveal the helplessness and emptiness, the irreparable consequences of systemic mental harassment, which led almost to the spiritual disintegration of the individual. The naivety that is often perceived is, in fact, nothing more than the result of Kafka's attempts to adhere as closely as possible to the truth of the experience, while not belittling what is felt.


This is the last time he reveals in a consistent, descriptive and argumentative manner the damage done to him by this titanic, tyrannical, mocking, continuing to inspire terror and shame, even with the 36-year-old writer figure, the figure of the father. And despite all his efforts to sound like an impartial judge of his own destiny, one can still sense the son's lively and uncontrollable desire to refute his father. A desire to make him feel the guilt with which he grew up and which, nailing his nails, never left him. However, Kafka himself denies that the letter can influence his father in any way, and what remains is to change him.


The most tragic note, in this already tragic confession, is related to Kafka's inability to escape from the notion of a world in which only he, the weak, the weak, the underdeveloped, the lazy, the hesitant, the ungrateful, exists. His father, on the other hand, is the real thunderous, self-confident, health-and-energy-boiling man, and everyone else, free and happy, unaffected by the correlation subordinate-subordinate, who live in Kafka consciousness as a supreme form of abstraction. At 36, he still feels like the boy who is ashamed to stand next to his father in the pool so that the contrast between them, even if he is purely physical, is not so obvious.


To defeat idols and enemies, often in the bodies of the same people, you must kill them symbolically, in the words of the luminaries in traditional psychology. Weak Kafka proves to be too weak for this task. The image of the father remains an integral part of his image of himself, living a ghostly life as an inwardly curved mirror. In it, Kafka never ceases to look, his inverted yardstick for dignity, but also an edifying voice that is only capable of capturing all his insecurities, aiming precisely at his weak points.


Beginning with the formal address "Dear Father," Kafka outlines the subject of her letter. "Some time ago you asked me why I said I was afraid of you. As always, I didn't know what to say to you — partly because I was afraid of you, partly because I needed too many details to explain that fear that I couldn't arrange satisfactorily in my oral answer. And now, when I try to do the same in writing, I realize that this answer will be quite incomplete, because fear and its consequences still bother me and because the scope of the topic far exceeds the capabilities of my memory and reason.


Insecurity, coupled with strong desire, unwavering determination, not so much for self-proving, which Kafka has long given up, but for self-justification, continue to be feelings - engines for the unfolding of the narrative centered around a few major moments.


However, before beginning his presentation, the writer confirms his father's innocence for the estrangement between the two, claiming that the father "has guilt" "innocently" and that, even without his influence, he would probably become "out of taste". He then writes: "You have acted on me as you should have done, you just have to stop counting as a particularly bad manifestation on my part the fact that I have not withstood such influence." The inner need to justify myself at the same time, and the tyrannical figure, who took away from him the possibility of full existence, leads to a painful separation of his inner world. This split finds its apex at the end of the letter, when Kafka turns his monologue into a dialogue, recreating the father's most cold response, least touched by his son's heartbeat.


In the first part of the letter, Kafka constructs the image of the father through his childhood gaze. He outlines his rigor, who admits that he later developed it himself, points out the fact that his father managed to put a completely different social mask on to foreign people. When he talks about the relationship between the two, he often sees himself as something small, ugly, powerless, expecting to be "crushed" under the pressure of the one he says he sees stretching his body across the globe. He remembers one night whining, not without a dose of baby stubble, for a glass of water, and his father took him outside and locked the door behind him. This memory continues his vivid life in Kafka's unhealthy psyche. Years later, he imagines his giant-sized father invading his room and taking him out of his bed for no reason.


In order to summarize the importance his parent attaches solely to his own opinion, Kafka writes: "You have acquired for me the mysteriousness that all tyrants have, whose right is based on personality, not their thinking." Over time, the author the letter develops intolerance to a number of foods. The reason for this is reinvented in his father's eating style, seen grotesquely as a pale human likeness in the eating process, which becomes for him a bodily feast. After an offensive move, Kafka steps back. In the next stream of thoughts, he blames himself again for, he argues, not the educational methods of the "head of the family" turned him into what he is, namely his obedience.

If you have to list the feelings that Kafka is drawn from, guilt is undoubtedly at the top of the list. Guilt is a consequence of the educator's means - self-pity and irony, more powerful than the most threatening curse. He admits that he's a kid collecting all those vulnerable features of his father that make him look funny and simple. At its core, this collection is nothing more than a manifestation of its instinct for self-preservation.

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However, the stereotypical realization of the father-child problem also finds its place in this conflict. A successful salesman, climbing the social ladder himself, his father never ceases to assure Kafka that he is sinking into undeserved luxury, which only intensifies his heightened sense of guilt. When he gets big enough to hang in a merchant's store, he sees it in a new light - one of injustice, directed not only at his children but also at his subordinates.


Becoming Jewish, Kafka expects to find a point of contact with his father in the bosom of religion, but he again manages to demonstrate his disdain. His father Hermann's dislike of his writing activities ("Put it on the nightstand!") Even manages to fill him with creative energy, for him becoming a symbol of his own freedom. But immediately after this confession, the author of The Metamorphosis illustrated this freedom with an allegory - a worm, coming from one's leg, which is torn off and pulled aside. Comparisons of this kind are not alien to Kafka - transforming a person into something small in his eyes is associated not only with nothingness but also with security, a kind of freedom.


Canetti explores the motivation behind this type of transformation, characteristic only of Chinese culture. In one of his letters, he is transformed into a mole, astonished and fond of her, mainly because he does not exist for himself. In her senses, she attains approximately the meaning that God has for humans - that higher instance, which cannot be fully assimilated by the weak human mind, cannot be fully imagined. This is what makes him move from her and see the world through her eyes.


Also interesting is the tendency for Kafka to enlarge small creatures, similar to the insect, which transforms Gregor Zamza into "Metamorphosis." This act not only enhances the reader's ability to explore in greater detail the nature of the animal, but also increases its significance, its role, as well as the plausibility of metamorphosis into an inverted reality reminiscent of Alice's world.

Marriage, perhaps the most painful place for the narrator, occupies the last place in his exposition. Somewhat surprisingly to the reader, Kafka writes that marriage and the creation of a family for him is "the greatest thing that can ever befall a person." Here, I will deviate from the letter to reveal the background that made Kafka think of her unmarried marriage as his biggest personal failure.

Elias Canetti devotes to this topic the study of the "Other Process", which would be extremely useful for anyone wishing to fully immerse themselves in the world of the writer. In the form of an overview of the letters exchanged between Kafka and Felice, Canetti analyzes the nature of the conflicting relationship between the two. Not without a touch of irony at the outset, he notes that these letters were actually sold by Felice to Kafka's publisher five years before her death, which testified to her commercial flair, highly regarded by her beloved. The two met at Max Brod's home in the 1912 year, and two days later, Kafka wrote in her diary that he was thinking of her. She writes to her after 5 weeks have passed since she met and introduces herself as the person she promised to share a trip to Palestine with. Subsequently, the letters he writes daily to Felice (2 or 3 times daily) shift the functions of his diary. He draws strength from her vigor for her writing.


Shortly after he began his correspondence with her, he created Sentence, Fire, America, and his most popular work, Metamorphosis. He is comfortable with the distance between the two because this way he keeps her away from his family. "Felice was just a girl," Canetti writes, but Kafka still gets flushes when she writes that she reads other authors. At the same time, he does not seek to present himself in an unrealistically good light, and does not spare her reasoning about his own "thinness", which may harass him, perhaps, in the same way as his hypochondria. Locked in his room, he spent even the cold winter nights in an open window. Kafka believed that heating polluted the air, he disliked smoking and was a vegetarian for a long time and did not believe in official medicine.


He focuses his efforts on writing, which often seems out of place to him. And Felice, on the other hand, differs from him in her activity and pragmatism, so much so that she admits that she could turn him into a person "capable of doing the most natural things." Sometimes, annoyed by Felice's attitude or lack of attitude, Kafka tries to push her away by disappointing or grieving her. Similar is his case that he would never have a child. In this regard, Canetti re-examines Kafka's involvement in small scale. He writes that as a result of his fear of being overpowered, he wants to become so small that they do not notice him, thus eliminating the danger. According to him, Kafka has negative emotions towards children. It is they who occupy those small spaces that would be protected, and contrary to the tendency to become smaller and imperceptible, they undergo exactly the opposite change.


On the other hand, the need for self-imposition, already well-known for his father's manifestations, does not remain alien to himself, and in his words, suppressing her even carries an element of physical pleasure. Commenting on one of her readings in front of an audience, Kafka writes, "You know, there is no greater detachment for the body than that of commanding people, or at least thinking that you are commanding them." he later finds a place in his relationship with Felice, but before that, their first engagement is forthcoming. It is not difficult to trace the link between K.'s arrest in The Process and this personal and social bond, as well as the parallel between the execution in the last chapter and the dissolution of the engagement six weeks later. After formulating the intentions of the two young Kafka began to suffer from a feeling of attachment and irreversibility. Of particular importance for the cancellation of the engagement is his particular interest in Felice's friend Grete Bloch. His intolerance towards his family, Felice's family, and in general the interference of third parties, of any kind, in the personal relations of the two fiancés played the most important role.


Canetti writes, "Kafka always stands on the side of the humiliated." He then goes on to say that his father's struggle is nothing more than a power struggle that pervades all his work. Despite these seemingly irrefutable judgments, in the correspondence between Kafka and Felice, after the failure of their first engagement (through his fault, of course), it is impossible not to notice the pressure that Kafka is trying to exert on his patient girlfriend. Slowly but urgently, he tries to model her in his ideal of being a woman, though there is a whole moral chasm between him and her. Her spontaneous desire to volunteer at the Jewish People's Home in Berlin became his fixed idea, reflecting his own desire for active participation in society. His inability to do so prompts him to make Felice do what he himself cannot. By using the tools of manipulation, such as disappointment and reproach, methods inherited from his father, he manages to encourage her to participate in volunteering despite her considerations. This seeks not only to compensate for her own social inertia, but also to expel Felice from her social class, to reorder her value system, to make her a model of humility and obedience.


After marrying Felice for the second time, Kafka is determined to break up with her permanently. Soon after, the first symptoms of tuberculosis come, which will lead to his death. The obviousness of their incompatibility remains unknown, perhaps only to the two of them, and can be summed up as a series of unsuccessful attempts to create closeness, breaking in the lightest breeze. The whole story between Kafka and Felice seems less tragic than absurd.


For Kafka's divided world, however, this failure was tantamount to a fair amount of shame and guilt. In his letter to his father, he wrote that his marriage would mean that equivalence with his father, which is utopian in his mind. He sees it as finally the freedom attained, but at the same time - as the means of escaping power that would bring him closer to his own executioner. His inability to start a Kafka family argues with the words "my marriage turned out to be impossible because it is exactly your most real territory."


Kafka's mother never passed on his father's letter. Five years later, the author died, remaining in history as one of the most important literary figures of the 20 century.

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