Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the trial

It just occurred to me that in The Trial (Kafka/Welles) there is a double entendre in "trial." On the one hand, yes, there's this bizarre "legal proceeding" which we call a trial. But also, the whole gamut of legal troubles hoisted upon Joseph K. are a "trial" sent by God. In the end of the Welles adaptation, a priest says something or other with the old appendage, "my son," to which K. replies, "I'm not your son," and walks out the facade of the church. This, as Welles calls it, "defiance to the end" apparently is contrary to the novel, in which K. is more or less like Job. Welles, incidentally, said that he changed this because he just could not imagine a post-Holocaust Jew just laying down and taking it, and that, had Kafka lived after WWII, he would have been under some kind of logical compulsion to write it differently.