Wednesday, February 06, 2008


This week I've struggled through The Trial. I think it is no coincidence, with my Law & Lit hat on, that ordeal can be synonymous with trial. I'm still not sure what I think about the book. It didn't go where I thought it would, but I'm not sure if I thought the ending was a cop out. I'll think on.

Anyway, part of the struggle was eased by challenging myself to find music as a suitable companion for my reading. The first vivid memory of finding music to suit a book was when I was about fifteen and reading La BĂȘte Humaine. I'd also just started listening to The Smiths, and can clearly remember sitting on my father's sofa, with How Soon Is Now? blaring through the system. What a bloody typical, pretentious teenager I was. Rats, and I thought I was so clever. And yet, and yet; the music really did suit the twisting tale of dark human nature and trying to suppress it, for some reason.

Therefore, this week I have tried to find something that suits Kafka. I needed something dark, oppressive, and overwhelmingly able to conjure dank, claustrophobic cities, with their swarming humanity and utter disregard for your being. For that reason, I found a few things in my collection. First, Untrue by Burial was absolutely perfect. Second, Timeless by Goldie - a serious blast from the past but suited magnificently to the task. TOH also suggested Tricky - and I agree. Almost anything basically, except the first album - too tuneful. Nearly God, Pre-Millennium Tension, Angels with Dirty Faces, all of those would have gone down a storm.

But now I'm onto Camus, so of course I've gone for MC Solaar. Any excuse. Plus it's the only French music I have other than Edith Piaf, which seems altogether a bit too... wrong. But I may be vastly underestimating the effect - I'll have a go tonight. Particularly as they're just about to get into the fight with the Arabs. I think Ma Vie En Rose would surely be perfect. Ahem.


subtleknot said...

Hmmm.... You ought to try and get a hold of the Orson Welles film of "The Trial" with Anthony Perkins as Joseph K. It's a bit of genius.

For god's sake, though, stay away from the one with Kyle MacLachlan and Anthony Hopkins.

pumpkin said...

How can a film with Kyle MacLachlan not be the definitive thing? Pish, shame on you.

Not that I didn't find it intriguing; I think it was definitely worth reading. But... particularly having just breezed through The Stranger, which was an equally damning review of the system, it seemed unnecessarily arduous. But maybe that's the point - the thick bureaucracy reflected by the impenetrable style?