The central preoccupation of the collection which I read as variations on a theme, is found in one of the most effective, 'Kafka's House': the problems of the desire for freedom from restrictions and the resulting ambivalence, for one feeds off the other, there is always the other side of the coin. In the story some say that if Kafka lived in a real house instead of cramped, crowded quarters, he would never have written famous works, or may not have written a all. The human situation in which this apparently trite observation occurs delicately treats fine balances between freedom and confinement in the lives of two friends and ex-lovers. The real life story sets up a kind of fable for exploring the ambivalence of the theme. As one, if not both, the characters are writers there is a playful self-reflexive dimension to the story, as in some others, of the artist's need for freedom and the encroachments upon it.
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