My request for a translation of a post on the Estonian blog “Oklahoma” has been answered. And by the author himself no less.
Hi Okiedoke and the others there in REAL Oklahoma!
My name is Jaanus, I live in Estonia.
I am “native” Estonian (white male), but almost all of us here have mixed blood. “Estonian people” – it is an ideological, political, historical construction.
Sorry for ma bad English but as I see I have to explain my posting „Baracki-karisma“ in my blog „Oklahoma“ (jaanusadamson.blogspot.com).
First – why „Oklahoma“?
I have never been in Oklahoma (in USA at all), I got the idea to put this title (headline) from the novel “America” by famous jewish writer Franz Kafka. This novel is published posthumously in 1927.
I understand very well that you take Oklahoma personally, but in this novel (and for me) the Oklahoma is above all a metaphorical (virtual, dreamlike) place – main character in this novel is an emigrant (he is LOST in America) and he hopes to find in Oklahoma a home, job, love, freedom, friends…
But the novel is unfinished (fragmentary, open-ended) – so we don’t know what is really happening to him finally…
And now very shortly about this Barack thing.
In Estonian media (in our public discussions and so on) there was the hot question – which candidate, McCain or Obama will be better for us (it means for Estonia as a State) in global and political level, or to put it in simplistic way: which of them will be tougher in dealings with Russia. Some politicians preferred McCain (old soldier and so on). I didn’t go into this topic deeply, but McCain was my favorite as well. I realized a „funny“ thing: almost everyone who spoke or wrote about Obama (in our media) said, that he is CHARISMATIC – but I couldnt see him in this way, his „charisma“ was over- and over- and overemphasized in my opinion. Why? It made me “suspicious” (I work as a copywriter).
What is behind this emphasized „charisma“? Hole? Lack? This was (implicitly) my question in my posting in blog.
I am writing directly to you because there is no sense to do this publicly via my blog comments.
Thank you for your comment, Jaanus. Except I did resent one thing; that your English is better than mine. Though I supported Obama, The Localmalcontent, along with most Oklahomans, should be glad to hear of your favor for McCain.
Ya know, I’d try to raise funds to fly Jaanus here to experience the real Oklahoma, but I’m afraid he might be disappointed when he arrived.
By Franz Kafka.
Comments by Bob Corbett
This book seems on the surface to be so different. There is a tone of lightness, airiness, even comedy… He seems to have known relatively little about the United States of the period and there is an air of fantasy which is beyond even the surrealistic scenes in The Trial.
The final and most bizarre episode, a rather disconnected 26 page sketch concerns the surrealistic job-bureau fraud of The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma. Seemingly under the guise of offering people jobs in the theatre (no one is ever refused) it all seems to be a gimmick to lure unsuspecting folks to Oklahoma to fulfill menial jobs.
That having been said, part of the humor of Amerika is seemingly unintended and is rooted in Kafka’s fantastic visions of what he seems to really have assumed the U.S. was like, filled with some of the worst sort of distortions which Europeans seemed to have had during this period.
Maybe I’ll pick up a copy… or wait for the movie.