Twin Peaks: Gates, Gatekeepers, Life, and Death – Lynch & Kafka

 

“Are you going to put your coat on or talk me to death right here on the threshold?” – Charlie, Season 3 Episode 15

“There you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it the dweller on the threshold… But it is said if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage it will utterly annihilate your soul.” – Tommy Hawk, Season 2 Episode Masked Ball

“Here no one else can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned only to you. I’m going now to close it.” – The Gatekeeper, Franz Kafka’s Vor dem Gesetz

***CONTAINS SPOILER FOR ALL OF TWIN PEAKS UP TO SEASON 3 EPISODE 15***

David Lynch and Franz Kafka go together like, well, coffee and cherry pie. Shit digging and golden shovels. Silence and drapes. Cops and donuts.

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Lynch KafkaIt’s a good combo. A lot of people say they love Kafka, and David Lynch and I would belong to that group. I focused my studies on Kafka and Kafkaesque Cinema with a secondary topic of Freud and Dreams, and Lynch once even had plans to bring Kafka’s The Metamorphosis to the big screen. Those unfamiliar with the story, it is about questioning the value of existence, family dysfunction and cruelty, human sexuality, and a guy that gets turned into a bug. You know, that old tale. Like with Lynch and Twin Peaks, most people associate Kafka with The Metamorphosis. It’s a damn fine story. But Twin Peaks: The Return‘s 15th episode made me think of my favorite piece by Kafka, Vor dem Gesetz.

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Twin Peaks: The Joy and Terror of Family

 

Read Dossier #1: Twin Peaks: Speculations Written In The Stars
Read Dossier #2: Twin Peaks: Keep Your Eye On The Doughnut
Read Dossier #3: Twin Peaks: It’s Happening Again – Time, and Time Again, Part 1
Read Dossier #3.5: Twin Peaks: It’s Happening Again – Electric Time, Part II

“Dearest Father,

kafka-internaYou asked me recently why I maintain that I am afraid of you. As usual, I was unable to think of any answer to your question, partly for the very reason that I am afraid of you, and partly because an explanation of the grounds for this fear would mean going into far more details than I could even approximately keep in mind while talking. And if I now try to give you an answer in writing, it will still be very incomplete, because, even in writing, this fear and its consequences hamper me in relation to you and because the magnitude of the subject goes far beyond the scope of my memory and power of reasoning. […]”

-Excerpt from Franz Kafka’s Brief an den Vater

“When I got home from World War II, my Uncle Dan clapped me on the back, and he said, ‘You’re a man now.’ So I killed him. Not really, but I certainly felt like doing it.” – Kurt Vonnegut on his Uncle Dan

14633712_1154360447987014_1422768517919987850_o“And now I want to tell you about my late Uncle Alex. He was my father’s kid brother, a childless graduate of Harvard who was an honest life insurance salesman in Indianapolis. He was well-read and wise. And his principal complaint about other human beings was that they so seldom noticed it when they were happy. So when we were drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, say, and talking lazily about this and that, almost buzzing like honeybees, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt the agreeable blather to exclaim, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is. So I do the same now, and so do my kids and grandkids. And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” – Kurt Vonnegut on his Uncle Alex

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No, not that Darkness!

Ah, families. Families are like assholes and opinions: Everyone has one. They say you can’t choose your family, but I would like to disagree. A family doesn’t have to be biological. Your family might be your coworkers or friends from your youth that you never lost touch with or a secret society formed to fight the Darkness surrounding your small town in Washington (especially doesn’t hurt if the coffee is free).

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