Whoever utters “Kafkaesque” has neither fathomed nor intuited nor felt the impress of Kafka’s devisings. If there is one imperative that ought to accompany any biographical or critical approach, it is that Kafka is not to be mistaken for the Kafkaesque.
“When they suggested Judi Dench, I couldn’t believe it. I nearly fell off my chair. She’s famous all over the world, you know! I was over the moon. A lot of my friends thought I’d gone soft, because they didn’t believe that it was true. I was so glad to be able to say, ‘Actually, look, it is true.’”
“In his log-cabin retreat Halliwell-Phillipps kept, and obsessively curated, his huge collection of ‘Shakespearean rarities’. This consisted of ‘about fifteen hundred separate articles’ – a cornucopia of manuscript papers and parchments, early quarto editions, play-bills, portraits, maps and curios carved from the sacred mulberry tree.”
“That hot four-star show? Those incredible performances? Surely, those actors are getting paid, right? Usually not. Or if they are, it is a flat-fee stipend of a couple hundred dollars for the entire run (rates vary among theaters) that might average out to $30 or $40 a week. That’s not including all those weeks of rehearsal, which come with no wages at all.”
“There was the shy bookworm my mother described, and the charismatic young literary star who drank with F. Scott Fitzgerald my uncle remembered being told stories about. The Skull and Bones member. The World War II spy. The man who took Carl Jung’s hand at an open window in his study and astral projected over the skies of Manhattan. The short-tempered redhead. The gay, closeted alcoholic. The failed poet. The fading not-quite retiree who read manuscripts at his apartment on 96th Street until he died.”
“By now, Cultural Studies has infiltrated nearly every corner of the humanities and social sciences, and so a generation of educated, internet-addicted music listeners has spent their formative university years questioning the primacy of their own tastes and interrogating bricolage in early-nineties hip hop.”