Dreary Digressions


— Waldo Lydecker New York Times 7/26/2013

“How singularly innocent 
I look this morning.”
—Waldo Lydecker, LAURA (1944)

Was Franz Kafka a fag?

Was Franz Kafka a closet case?

Was Franz Kafka fond of pretty Prague penises?

I’m shocked—simply shocked, my dears!!!

Nevertheless, such rude probing tacky questions need to be asked I suppose.

Not only by all of us esteemed literary Critics in the Big Apple such as myself—but by all the various and sundry esteemed hoity-toity riff-raff readers of the astute New York Times.

After all, Enquiring Minds need to know.

Now then, as all of you know by now—I don't use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.

Yes, I know I’m not kind—I'm vicious. It's the secret of my literary critic charm.

I shall never forget the weekend Franz Kafka died. A black comet burned through the sky like a huge flaming magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in Prague. 

For with Kafka's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker, was the only one who really knew him, and I had just begun to write Franz's story when another of those tacky detectives from THE TRIAL came to grill me. I had him wait. I could watch him through the peep-hole in the door.

Fussy str8t literary biographers were also knocking at my door—all the way from SF to Poughkeepsie. As well as from NYC all the way to Bangkok. They were all anxious to burden me with their rude intrusive dreary digressions into the dirt of what really went on there in Miss Kafka’s bedroom.

I’ve always pleaded innocence when it came to spilling the beans about Kafka’s private life. Usually I act dizzy and simply dillydally about this and that.

I mean after all, get real. We live in tres moderné times these days. Especially now that once controversial gay marriage has become rather ho-hum commonplace these days. 

It seems truly the height of chutzpah to get too personal about what happened in Miss Kafka’s bedroom.

After all, anyone who’s read THE METAMORPHOSIS knows that something terribly seductive and forbidden and rather vulgar was going on in there behind locked doors. 

Something that most people would rather not know about too much. Unless, of course, they’re somewhat exquisite voyeurs and connoisseurs of Cock… Cockroaches, that is.

Yes, my dears, something disgustingly profane and much too outré was going on in Kafka’s penthouse. Shocking even for the smooth sophisticated dry martini crowd sipping their martinis and gossiping like the good old days back when Miss Capote was doing her thing.

I must say that Kafka’s “Cockroach Drag” routines were rather risqué back then—back when Miss Kafka threw parties for Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe and Addison Dewitt, the famed drama critic.

But the star was Franz Kafka. His native habitat was the Novel. In it he toiled not, neither did he spin. He was the ultimate high society critic and bitchy commentator. He was essential to Literature.

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