Thursday, August 18, 2022

Reading 22

 Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Character”

Emerson writes that a person with strong character ought to be an exemplary moral person. He or she reflects the moral order. Emerson’s view is similar to the Christian ideal of not only becoming like Christ but having Christ live within you in more than a metaphorical sense.

Edgar Allan Poe, “Tamerlane”

14th century king, successor to Genghis Khan. This is Poe’s poem written in the voice of the king, mostly about his love affair with his wife, whom he knew when they were young in love, and who is now queen, whose every step he wishes there were a monument built. Aw.

Franz Kafka, “The Judgment”

Georg is a young Austrian man doing nothing except living at home with his bedridden dad and writing letters to a friend who moved to St Petersburg. On a Sunday morning, he’s struggling to find words for how to express his recent engagement to a young woman. Eventually Georg puts down his own and checks on his father. His father tells him he’s lazy and wishes he were industrious like the friend. He also says he is ashamed his son is only marrying now because, as the father puts it, she lifted up her skirts for him. Georg feels so humiliated he runs out of the house and over to the bridge where he throws himself into an icy river. The implication is his life is no more.


  1. Classic Franz…always with the good timin knee slappers!

    1. Although his stories are obviously very dark and he's the king of the goth kids, Kafka's friends said when he would read his stories to them, he would laugh out loud like a maniac.