I’ve reread some of Kafka’s short stories, this morning: A Report to an Academy. (It’d be misleading to describe it as one of my favourites, such ranking is impossible in the face of the brilliance of Kafka’s short stories.) A Report to an Academy is a tale of metamorphosis, but unlike the story of that name, this time it is self-willed; an ape learns to perform human in pursuit of autonomy. I’ve always read the story as an allegorical discourse on fascism or late capitalism.
This morning I’ve day-dreamed more about its tale of radical transfiguration. Below, for Sunday fun, is a minor thought experiment, a list of nonhuman forms I’d like to become, temporarily for a moment or a thousand years, to experience otherness.
- A grain of sand, in a boundless, ‘unshorn field’ of desert.
- An igneous rock, child of cooling lava.
- A starling (to fly in a dazzling cloud as part of a murmuration).
- An almond tree in full ‘shadow blossom’.
- A gold, Sicilian, venomous snake.
- A bright star (with eternal lids apart).
- A crashing, long and loud whirlwind.
- Sea-cold coral, shining with salt sweat.
A little indulgent I know. Care to take a turn?