For the Love of Art, and Verfremdung

Artists often criticize; they interpret the world within a new light; they portray a point through imagery. The Hunger Artist by Franz Kafka portrays a figure who is so obsessed with his own art and artistic interpretation, he takes it upon himself to torture his own body in order to criticize his onlookers, almost as the old ascetic Monks separated themselves in order to bring themselves closer to God. Continue reading

Moving Forward Requires Balance

In order for humans to learn a language they must acquire basics of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and of course vocabulary. Language is a method of communication; a way of conveying wants, needs and thoughts with other people.  Second language students do not need to be taught how to learn a language because they already speak one.  To learn a second language,  it must be spoken, misspoken, and used in every way possible and in a variety of contexts, and mistakes must be made.  Continue reading

Hindsight Verboten? Kafka’s Reflections on Food

“The question throughout is much the same; lack of food, lack of clothing, and disease of every kind.” ~New York Times 1919
“The population has seen and felt so much of suffering that it has become calloused to hardship and to want, but the spectacle of hundreds of starving children, of women in the bitter cold clad only in the scantliest of filthy rags, and of men […] aimlessly walking the streets begging for bread, is deeply affecting.” [1]

A Theory of the Art in Life

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
 George Orwell from 1984


Are we all really a blank canvas? Critical Theory as I understand it, applies rules and structures to the human experience. The human experience that is, based upon cultural situation. Instead of seeing a very one-directional view of the world, Critical Theories offer readers new structures and guidelines to aid in reading a text against the grain.