Art Is A Field Where Imagination Is Better Than Reality: On The Detroit Paintings Of Tal R
Art Business

Art Is A Field Where Imagination Is Better Than Reality: On The Detroit Paintings Of Tal R

The most striking thing about Frank Kafka’s Amerika— a novel he completed in 1914, but that wasn’t published until three years after his death in 1927—is that Kafka himself never visited America. Instead, he based the narrative, which is about a young man named Karl Rossmann navigating his way around New York after being banished from Germany by his parents, on stories told to him by relatives who had emigrated there. Even despite the fact that Kafka had no first hand knowledge of the place, he somehow captured New York as vibrantly as the American novelist Theodore Dreiser captured Chicago in An American Tragedy, which was published two years earlier, in 1925. In Amerika, New York is a place gleaming with steel, burping up swarms of human traffic, and crowning millionaires by the minute. The winters are brutal; the Irishmen are to be reckoned with. A man can find his fortune, and just as quickly, be relegated to obscurity in the swarms of masses. What’s interesting is that Kafka writes in clichés about New York—but they are clichés that the city itself embraces. People come here with hopes that they will “make” it. They learn to walk quickly as […]

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