A CHARACTER IN A DREAM

Kafka's ability to write about himself as an "other" suggests that he had been developing some method, close to the diary and letter modes he had been using, which denied borders between conscious and sub- or unconscious. The long correspondence with Felice Bauer ... was as much about a character named Kafka as it was about Kafka himself. And while he maintained this protracted correspondence, he was keeping a diary, in which he frequently commented on the letters he was writing, on her replies, on his response to both. And in those diary entries, he was treating Franz Kafka (often called K.) as a character in a dream, from which he could remove himself at will. While all of Kafka's novels are about him, they are also about a person from whom he can remove himself. That playing of roles ... entered into his very conception of his fictions.

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