I don’t know how much sense it makes outside my head that I should be in a large box because my novel needs work. It makes perfect sense to me. Much as it makes perfect sense that Kafka, if left alone for long enough, would try to seduce a standing lamp. “During the first half of my stay in Meran I kept making plans day and night—against my own clear will—about how I could seduce the chambermaid—and even worse.” Well, I don’t happen to have any chambermaids around. I do have a dressmaker’s dummy; he’d probably go for that first, but that joke works only if you happen to know that I really do own a dressmaker’s dummy.

I somehow don’t imagine Kafka trying to seduce me. I imagine myself as too alarmingly American for his taste. That and I weigh at least a Kafka and a half; I’d be afraid of snapping him in half by accident.