Sunday, April 28, 2019

(Upper-Intermediate) The Parable of the Law

The Parable of the Law

Insert the fragments:

A) lowly gatekeeper
B) grant him entry
C) each more powerful than the other
D) in order to see through the gate
E) in spite of my prohibition

Before the law sits a gatekeeper. To this gatekeeper comes a man from the country who asks to gain entry into the law. But the gatekeeper says that he cannot _________ at the moment. The man thinks about it and then asks if he will be allowed to come in later on. “It is possible,” says the gatekeeper, “but not now.” At the moment the gate to the law stands open, as always, and the gatekeeper walks to the side, so the man bends over __________ into the inside. When the gatekeeper notices that, he laughs and says: “If it tempts you so much, try it __________. But take note: I am powerful. And I am only the most _____________. But from room to room stand gatekeepers, ____________. I can’t endure even one glimpse of the third.”

Form the words:

The man from the country has not expected such difficulties: the law should always be   ACCESS    for everyone, he thinks, but as he now looks more    CLOSE    at the gatekeeper in his fur coat, at his large pointed nose and his long, thin, black Tartar’s beard, he decides that it would be better to wait until he gets     PERMIT    to go inside. The gatekeeper gives him a stool and allows him to sit down at the side in front of the gate.

Fill the gaps:

___ he sits for days and years. He ___ many attempts to be let in, and he wears the gatekeeper out with his requests. The gatekeeper often interrogates him briefly, questioning him about his homeland and many ____ things, but they are indifferent questions, the kind great men put, and at the end he always tells him ____ more that he cannot ___ him inside yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, spends everything, ___ matter how valuable, to win over the gatekeeper. The latter takes it ___ but, as he does ___, says, “I am taking this only so that you do not think you have failed to do anything.”

Form the words:

During the many years the man observes the gatekeeper almost      CONTINUE   . He forgets the other gatekeepers, and this one seems to him the only obstacle for  ENTER    into the law. He curses the   LUCK    circumstance, in the first years thoughtlessly and out loud, later, as he grows old, he still mumbles to himself. He becomes   CHILD    and, since in the long years studying the gatekeeper he has come to know the fleas in his fur collar, he even asks the fleas to help him persuade the gatekeeper. Finally his   SIGHT    grows weak, and he does not know whether things are really darker around him or whether his eyes are merely      DECEIVE    him. But he recognizes now in the darkness an   ILLUMINATE    which breaks inextinguishably out of the gateway to the law. Now he no longer has much time to live. Before his death he gathers in his head all his experiences of the entire time up into one question which he has not yet put to the gatekeeper. He waves to him, since he can no longer lift up his stiffening body. The gatekeeper has to bend way down to him, for the great     DIFFER      has changed things to the       ADVANTAGE     of the man. 

Insert the words:


“What do you still want to know, then?” asks the gatekeeper. “You are_______.” “Everyone _____ after the law,” says the man, “so how is that in these many years no one except ______ has requested entry?” The gatekeeper sees that the man is already dying and, in order to reach his______ sense of hearing, he shouts at him, “Here no one ____ can gain entry, since this entrance was assigned ____ to you. I’m going now to _____ it.


This famous story is called a parable. What is a parable?

What is the story a parable of?

Additional reading

Unseen Kafka works may soon be revealed after Kafkaesque trial
- Zurich court rules safe-deposit boxes can be opened and shipped to Israel library

Image result for franz kafka

A long-hidden trove of unpublished works by Franz Kafka could soon be revealed after a decade-long battle over his literary estate that has drawn comparisons to some of his surreal tales.

A district court in Zurich upheld Israeli verdicts in the case last week, ruling that several safe-deposit boxes in the Swiss city could be opened and their contents shipped to Israel’s national library.

The papers could shed new light on one of literature’s darkest figures, a German-speaking Jew from Prague whose cultural legacy has been hotly contested between Israel and Germany.

Experts have speculated the cache could include endings to some of Kafka’s major works, many of which were unfinished when they were published after his death.
Israel’s supreme court has already stripped an Israeli family of its collection of Kafka’s manuscripts, which were hidden in Israeli bank vaults and in a Tel Aviv apartment. But the Swiss ruling would complete the acquisition of nearly all Kafka’s known works.

Kafka, whose name has become an adjective to describe inscrutable legal or bureaucratic processes, was known for his tales of everyman protagonists crushed by mysterious events. In The Trial, a bank clerk is put through excruciating court proceedings without ever being told the charges against him.

“The absurdity of the [legal process] is that it was over an estate that nobody knew what it contained. This will hopefully finally resolve these questions,” said Benjamin Balint, a research fellow at Jerusalem’s Van Leer Institute and the author of Kafka’s Last Trial, which chronicles the affair.

Kafka bequeathed his writings to Max Brod, his longtime friend, editor and publisher, shortly before his death from tuberculosis in 1924 at the age of 40. He asked for his writings to be burned unread, but Brod ignored his wishes and published most of what was in his possession – including the novels The Trial, The Castle and Amerika, which made the previously little-known author posthumously one of the most celebrated writers of the 20th century.

But Brod didn’t publish everything and on his death in 1968, he instructed his personal secretary, Esther Hoffe, to transfer the Kafka papers to an academic institution.

Hoffe instead kept the papers stashed away and sold some. The original manuscript of The Trial was auctioned for £1m at Sotheby’s in London and went to the German Literature Archive in Marbach, near Stuttgart. 

When Hoffe died in 2008 at the age of 101, she left the collection to her two daughters, Eva Hoffe and Ruth Wiesler, both Holocaust survivors like herself, who considered Brod a father figure and his archive their inheritance. Both have since also passed away, leaving Wiesler’s daughters to continue fighting for the remainder of the collection.

Jeshayah Etgar, a lawyer for the daughters, said his clients legitimately inherited the works and called the state seizure of their property “disgraceful” and “first degree robbery”.”

Israel’s National Library claims Kafka’s papers as cultural assets that belong to the Jewish people. “We welcome the judgment of the court in Switzerland, which matched all the judgments entered previously by the Israeli courts,” said David Blumberg, the chairman of the library, a nonprofit and non-governmental body.

“The judgment of the Swiss court completes the preparation of the National Library of Israel to accept the entire literary estate of Max Brod, which will be properly handled and will be made available to the wider public in Israel and the world.”

No comments:

Post a Comment