OK, let's talk about books again... Right now I'm reading a collection of stories by Franz Kafka. Man, I feel all pretentious just saying that. Hey, look, I'm reading Kafka! But then, a couple of weeks ago I was talking about reading Doctor Who and the Claws of Axos, so maybe it all evens out. Anyway, so, yeah, I'm reading this book mostly because after encountering a reference to something for the seventeen zillionth time I start thinking I ought to go and read the original if I'm going to pretend to any semblance of cultural literacy, and "The Metamorphosis" is one of those kinds of thing. Also, I was deeply, deeply traumatized by reading "In the Penal Colony" in high school, and I believe in facing up to one's literary fears or something. Or possibly I'm just a glutton for punishment. (Although, I must say, William Sleator's House of Stairs which freaked me out even more comprehensively at a much younger age is still sitting on the To-Read Pile, mocking me. It's been sitting there for years and I'm still afraid to re-read it, though whether because I'm afraid it'll freak me out again or that it won't, I couldn't really say.)
Anyway. Kafka. What a bizarre guy. And the really strange thing about these stories is that, after you've finished reading one, your conscious mind is going, "Well, that was kind of pointless" and your subconscious is going, "Aiiiieeeee! There are bugs crawling on me!" Or at least mine are. It's the damnedest thing. I have no idea how it works, but if you could bottle it, you'd make a fortune.