Kafka’s Ax and Art

Jeanne Murray Walker in her essay, “Breaking the Illusions: What Playwrights Owe to Actors,” in the journal IMAGE (summer, 2005):
“Kafka said that art is like an ax that chops through the frozen sea within us” (p.88).

This is why I write, play, and listen to music. This is why I paint and look at art. This is why I write and read. This is why I watch movies. This is why I teach and listen to teachers.

When we crystallize ourselves into a position, most often it has the effect of freezing us. We solidify and harden. We become impenetrable and calloused. I appreciate art in all forms, and I welcome the ax. I don’t want to be frozen, but fluid.

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