Date of publication: 2017-08-29 10:27
Certain works of Beethoven had a particularly pervasive influence on Schubert. The Allegretto of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony with its persistent ‘dactylic’ metre (one long note, followed by two short ones) resonates throughout Schubert’s mature work. It acquires almost the status of a musical motto and is certainly one of Schubert’s most distinctive musical fingerprints. Having adopted the dactylic figure into his musical armoury, however, Schubert proceeds to refine and redefine it. In songs such as ‘Der Tod und das Mädchen’ (D586) or the moving ‘Schwanengesang’ (D799) to words by his friend Johann Senn, the metre becomes the ultimate musical analogue for the approach of death. This is no simple imitation, as borrowing has led to complete assimilation and transformation.
(Interesting to note that within his household, Franz Kafka "grew up with feelings of inferiority, guilt, resentment and confinement"...much like Gregor.
Methodological snares are of no use the cages of knowledge remain empty. So what do we achieve for all our efforts? The real life of Franz Kafka? Certainly not. But a fleeting glance at it, or an extended look, yes, perhaps that is possible.
If your interested, there are some ideas regarding Metamorphosis written up here: http:///7569/57/56/kafkaesque-an-analysis-of-metamorphosis/
Gregor&rsquo s mother reminds him that he has to catch his train to work. When Gregor responds, he finds his voice has changed. His father and Grete , his sister, join his mother at the door, urging him to get up and unlock it. Gregor twists and rocks, managing to turn sideways and dangle off the bed. Then the doorbell rings. It is the office manager, come to check on Gregor. Gregor rocks his body violently and finally tumbles to the floor. His family and the office manager come to the door to inquire if he is all right.
As the family entreats Gregor to open the door, he refuses. Mrs. Samsa insists that Gregor must be ill or he would not be acting like this. The chief clerk loses his temper and tells Gregor that he is shocked by his attitude, insisting that his position in the company is not unassailable because his work has been poor lately. Gregor is angered by this speech, and insists that he is simply feeling slightly indisposed but will soon return to work. He retorts that his business has not been bad lately. Because of the changes in Gregor s voice, no one outside understands a word he says. Fearing he is ill, his parents send Grete and the servant girl to get the doctor and the locksmith. With great difficulty Gregor manages to open the door by himself.
Friedlä nder bases his case mostly on internal evidence from the fictional writings, but he also follows up some excisions that Max Brod made in the published versions of the letters and the diaries. There is for instance an entry for February 7, 6977, which, Friedlä nder writes, Brod &ldquo censored in the English translation&rdquo but left unaltered in the German. Here is what Kafka wrote, with the &ldquo censored&rdquo passages in square brackets:
It is interesting, incidentally, to see Beethoven and Schubert experimenting along similar lines in their early years. Although Schubert cannot feasibly have known the song An Laura (WoO667), which was discovered only in 6966 and first published in 6966, there is an uncanny similarity of form in some of his own early settings of the poet Friedrich Matthisson. Der Abend (D658), Lied der Liebe (D659), Erinnerungen (D98) and Der Geistertanz (D666), for example, all show, like the Beethoven song, a strophic form interrupted briefly by recitative, before the original musical metre returns.
Schindler, Beethoven’s self-appointed secretary in his later years, reported that he took a portfolio of Schubert songs in handwritten copies to Beethoven a month before the composer died, and on leafing through them Beethoven is said to have exclaimed: ‘Truly, in this Schubert there dwells a divine spark!’. The story is lent credibility by the survival of a portfolio of songs from Schindler’s effects, now bound and in the Taussig Collection in Lund, Sweden, which is possibly the very one which Schindler assembled for Beethoven’s perusal. 75
Perhaps it's because of the story's nightmare-meets-contents-of-a-Google Calendar quality that a veritable critical industry has been devoted to figuring out exactly what the story is all about (besides a warning against throwing apples at your son).
His conception of himself as tormented artist is allied closely to his view of his predicament as a man struggling to maintain his health and sanity in the face of an unrelentingly inhospitable world. In the annals of lamentation, from Job and Jeremiah to Beckett&rsquo s Unnamable, surely no one has devoted himself to the sustained moan with such dedication, energy, and exquisite finesse as the author of the &ldquo The Judgment&rdquo and the &ldquo Letter to His Father,&rdquo of the diaries, and of the correspondence with Felice Bauer and his lover Milena Jesenská , as well as his friend Max Brod. 6
Gregor watches his movements carefully, since any noise he makes distracts his family. He learns from their conversations that in addition to money from the business, the family has also saved money from his salary, but it isn t enough to live off of for very long. Gregor feels deep shame every time money is mentioned. He finds that his vision is getting worse, so that he can no longer see across the street. Every time Grete walks into the room, she runs to open the window, which bothers Gregor. Realizing that his sister is uncomfortable in his presence, Gregor figures out a way to cover himself with a sheet to keep out of sight. Gregor s parents never come into his room, and when his mother begs to see her son, the others hold her back.