“He was something, silently slinking into class with all that

disheveled hair and then laying down the law on Kafka.

I remember those A students all reading Kafka’s Letter to

His Father and explaining exactly how ‘Metamorphosis’ and The Trial

derived from his relationship to his tyrannical and irascible father.

‘No,’ Shirazi said wearily, ‘it’s just the other way around.

His idea of his relationship to his father derives from

‘Metamorphosis’ and The Trial. By the time a novelist worth

his salt is thirty-six, he’s no longer translating experience into

fable – he’s imposing his fable into experience.’ So said Shirazi.”


Paraphrases from the novel Deception by Philip Roth.