Kafka’s Dick – Alan Bennett (Part 2)

Book: Kafka’s Dick – Alan Bennett
Status: Read

Last set of quotes from this wonderful play, hope you enjoy. For brief (and probably quite unclear!) summary of the plot, please see previous post!

“(LINDA sits down and crosses her legs.)

KAFKA: I say, that’s good.
LINDA: What?
KAFKA: The way you took one of your legs and just flung it over the other. You’ve done it again. Perfect.
LINDA: Don’t be silly. Everybody can do that.
LINDA: I just don’t think about it.
KAFKA: But in order not to think about it one has to give it a good deal of thought.
(LINDA tries it again and muffs it.)
LINDA: It’s a simple thing. Like walking.
KAFKA: Is walking simple? Stand up.
(LINDA stands up)
KAFKA: You are going to cross the room. For a start you must decide which leg you’re going to move first. Have you come to a decision? Wait. Remember when you’re moving whichever leg it is you’ve decided to move first you should meanwhile be thinking about the one you’re going to move after that. Slowly. Oh, you’ve chosen that leg. I see. Now the other leg. Now the first leg. Now the same leg you used the time before last. And now this one again, which is the one you used the time before that.

(LINDA starts to laugh and stagger and pealing with laughter falls into KAFKA’s arms. At which point BROD and SYDNEY enter.)

SYDNEY: Linda.
LINDA: He was just teaching me how to walk.
SYDNEY: Oh. I thought you’d just about got that licked.
BROD: Can I help?
LINDA: Don’t touch me.
BROD: It’s always the same. As soon as they meet him it’s goodnight Max. ”

“KAFKA: Max. What have you done to me?
BROD: Ask not what I have done to you, but what you’ve done for humanity. You, who never knew you were a great man, now rank with Flaubert, Tolstoy, and Dostoevsky, called fellow by the greatest names in literature. As Shakespeare spoke for mankind on the threshold of the modern world, you speak mankind’s farewell in the authentic voice of the twentieth century.
KAFKA: (In a small, awe-stricken voice.) Shit.”

“KAFKA examines the quiche suspiciously. Smells it. Holds it up to the light. Looks for somewhere to hide it. Behind a cushion? In a vase? Finally, hearing someone coming, he makes a dash for the bookcase and slips it in there. LINDA enters with a glass of milk. She spots the empty plate.

LINDA : I knew you’d enjoy that.
KAFKA: A novel experience. (He checks the shelf.) I put it somewhere between Dostoevsky and Henry James.”


“BROD: He won’t have read a word he’s written.
HERMANN. K: I tried to read one once. Flat as piss on a plate.
When he makes Reader’s Digest, then I’ll read him”


“LINDA: When I first saw you I thought here’s somebody different. I can talk to this man. And what’s more peculiar, he listens. He notices. I also thought what nice hands.
KAFKA: And now?
LINDA: I still like your hands.
KAFKA: But I’m a terrible human being.
LINDA: No. You’re a man, that’s all.

(All the men except KAFKA groan)

KAFKA: Not much of a man.
LINDA: Every inch.


KAFKA: Dad!”

Taken from ‘Kafka’s Dick’ by Alan Bennett
Available from Amazon UK : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Two-Kafka-Plays-Kafkas-Insurance/dp/0571147275/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1249733976&sr=8-1


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