Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fantasy and the Doorkeeper

Recently, when I was contemplating on Kafka's 'Before the Law' two things struck me, two important dimensions that the story lacked. Firstly, the man from the countryside always live in the present. Contrary to what we expect from a suppressed soul, the man from the country side does not have a fantasy at no time in his life. This is absurd and unrealistic. A suppressed soul is very likely to fantasize about a life beyond. In this case the man is expected to fantasize a life where he is allowed to pass the door of Law. How on earth can is it possible for the man to live so long (the story says that he was very old to the extent that his vision was fading out) without fantasizing a life beyond? On the contrary, the man lives in the present, which is an unfaithful representation of the history of suppressed souls.

Secondly, the story says that the doorkeeper is very powerful. The third one is so powerful that the doorkeeper at the gate does not even dare to look at the former. But I say that the doorkeeper can even be a small fry who can be physically overpowered without much effort. This would have introduced a good contradiction to the situation the man from the countryside faces throughout his life. In the revised version the man from countryside would be asked to wait for days and years on end by a small fry who has the back up of Law. In the new situation, the Law is nothing but the words of the doorkeeper ('that you will not be allowed to enter at the moment'), while in Kafka's story Law is represented by the physiquè of the person.

I need a revision to this story because I want it to depict my experience. In several instances in my life I have identified with the man from the countryside. Here, I am waiting before the Law only because some small fry has been disallowing me for days and years to enter into it. I can easily overpower him. But I will not. Why? Why? For an answer to this we have to refer another short story by Kafka, "A Hunger Artist". Both these are complementary. The story "A Hunger Artist" begins when readers start questioning 'why' to "Before the Law". I have fantasies which one normally expects from a suppressed soul. I fantansize that I have overpowered the doorkeeper, that small fry who knows only to speak, and have finally entered the Law. My fantasies are unrealistic, with too much exaggeration. But that is what fantasy means, right?

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