FIND in
<--prev V301 next-->
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 09:02:02 -0600
Subject: Re: (urth) DOORS: Klamm, Green
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 1/27/03 12:41 PM, Michael Andre-Driussi at mantis@siriusfiction.com

> I think he was Lara's lover after Captain "Blaze-Away Billy" William Hurst.
> (It would be neat if we could find a text with Captain Billy in it . . . I
> tried the footnotes for FLASHMAN, but no luck there.)

Captain Billy's Whiz Bang?   This was a popular American humor magazine
of the 1920s and 1930s, though far less sophisticated than the New Yorker;
see http://www.compedit.com/whiz_bang.htm if you're interested.  Actually,
for Wolfe to have deliberately inserted the allusion to CBWB seems like the
sort of "joke" Wolfe would enjoy.

> Using Adam Stephanides's tip that Klamm comes from Kafka's THE CASTLE
> (thanks, Adam!)

Incidentally, I've been rereading THE CASTLE, and I wasn't quite correct
when I said that there are no indications that Klamm took any interest in
K.'s welfare.  K. receives two letters from Klamm in which Klamm claims to
take a personal interest in him.  OTOH, in one scene Klamm goes out of his
way to avoid meeting K. face-to-face, and K. is repeatedly told that such a
meeting is impossible.

> (And I think that the Castle
> itself = Overwood.  Not to be the bummer here, but one scenario for the
> conclusion to THE CASTLE is that K., on his deathbed, finally gets
> permission to visit the Castle he has been trying to get to for the entire
> novel.)

Iirc, Max Brod (Kafka's friend and literary executor, though now regarded as
an unreliable interpreter of Kafka) said that K. on his deathbed was to
receive permission, not to visit the Castle, but to settle in the village.
Other similarities between THE CASTLE and TAD: in both, the main character
goes to a strange place and tries to establish himself there, and in both,
this "establishment" is linked to a woman.  OTOH, in TAD Green wants to get
established to be near Lara; while in THE CASTLE K. seems to value his
relationship with Frieda primarily because he thinks it will help him get
established.  Also, the "twitter of bird-like voices, the voices of Japanese
children, or of music boxes tuned to speak" (42-3) that Green hears when he
phones his apartment is very similar to what K. hears on the phone line to
the Castle.

> THE CASTLE was published in 1926, iirc, and that is where in time I posit
> that Klamm crossed over.

That's right; but Kafka abandoned work on it in 1922, which might be another
possible date.  (It was published, unfinished, after his death.)



<--prev V301 next-->