The Trial - Franz Kafka. 그리고 아무말도 하지 않았다.


... Before the law, there stands a guard. A man comes from the country, begging admittance to the law. But the guard cannot admit him. May he hope to enter at a later time? That is possible, said the guard. The man tries to peer through the entrance. He'd been taught that the law was to be accessible to every man.


 "Do not attempt to enter without my permission", says the guard. I am very powerful. Yet I am the least of all the guards. From hall to hall, door after door, each guard is more powerful than the last. By the guard's permission, the man sits by the side of the door, and there he waits. 


For years, he waits. Everything he has, he gives away in the hope of bribing the guard, who never fails to say to him "I take what you give me only so that you will not feel that you left something undone." Keeping his watch during the long years, the man has come to know even the fleas on the guard's fur collar. Growing childish in old age, he begs the fleas to persuade the guard to change his mind and allow him to enter. His sight has dimmed, but in the darkness he perceives a radiance streaming immortally from the door of the law. 


And now, before he dies, all he's experienced condenses into one question, a question he's never asked. He beckons the guard. Says the guard, "You are insatiable! What is it now?" Says the man, "Every man strives to attain the law. How is it then that in all these years, no one else has ever come here, seeking admittance?" 


His hearing has failed, so the guard yells into his ear. "Nobody else but you could ever have obtained admittance. No one else could enter this door! This door was intended only for you! And now, I'm going to close it." This tale is told during the story called "The Trial". It's been said that the logic of this story is the logic of a dream... a nightmare.

 

... The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other.

 

... One must lie low, no matter how much it went against the grain, and try to understand that this great organization remained, so to speak, in a state of delicate balance, and that if someone took it upon himself to alter the dispositions of things around him, he ran the risk of losing his footing and falling to destruction, while the organization would simply right itself by some compensating reaction in another part of its machinery – since everything interlocked – and remain unchanged, unless, indeed, which was very probable, it became still more rigid, more vigilant, severer, and more ruthless.

 

 ... K. was too tired to take in all of the consequences of the story; they led him into unaccustomed areas of thought, toward abstract notions more suited for discussion by the officials of the court than by him. The simple tale had become shapeless; he wanted to shake off the thought of it.

   

... 'it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.' 'A melancholy conclusion,' said K. 'It turns lying into a universal principle.'



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