Sunday, August 1, 2010

I did it again

I don't know why I do this to myself, but once again I read a short story by Franz Kafka.

This one was called "A Country Doctor", or maybe The Country Doctor, I can't remember and I don't feel like trudging upstairs to look.

Here's what I think happened in the story.

A doctor has somehow gotten word that there someone is ill.  It's night, it is snowing, and it is about 10 miles away.  He needs to get there, but his horse has just died, so he sends his servant girl to go around the village and ask people if he can borrow a horse.  None of them will lend him one.  He opens the door to his own stables and finds someone there who he has never seen before - a brutish sort of person who immediately attacks the servant girl, but who has two fine horses.  The doctor gets this person's attention, the servant girl runs into the house and barricades herself in her room (we presume), and the brutish man (who is there without any explanation) hooks the horse up to the doctor's carriage.  The doctor is worried about his servant, and wants the man to come with him, but the man refuses, and begins breaking down the door to the doctor's house. 

Now this is where it gets weird.

The doctor suddenly finds himself at his patients house.  He's confused, because it is as if no time has passed.  So he looks at the patient, who is a young boy, listens to his breathing, and decides nothing is seriously wrong with him.  But the family is expecting there to be something wrong, and the doctor has some thoughts about how people have switched their supernatural expectations from religion to doctors.  So he looks again, closer, and this time he finds a horrible worm infested wound on the boy's hip. The horses have gotten loose from the rig, managed to open the windows and stick their head inside the room & watch.  No one seems to care.  The people in the room take the doctor's clothes off & he lays down next to the sick boy. 

Next thing I remember the doctor is on his way home, worried about his servant girl, and the horses, unlike the trip out, are barely moving.  Moving at a snail's pace. 

This is all I remember, and I don't have a clue what it means or if it has any deeper meaning than what I read.  I'm not sure I like reading Kafka, but it'd be really neat to be able to write something like that.


Heather said...

How totally weird, yeah I think you need to lay off of this writer. Sounds like is books are dreamlike in nature.

A Valdese Blogger said...

Heather - Yep ol' Franz K. is just odd.