I wonder if the date of the story is significant in that it was ‘found’ in 1930 after DHL’s death and thus was a ‘last text’…as such it would be suffused with a knowledge of mortality…terminality and perhasp the intolerance to ‘fakery’ is symptomatic of this lastnesss? In this way change and even rebirth at the end of the tale( through the flood ) takes on all sorts of symbolic meanings?
Her is Susan Sontag on illness from llness and its Metaphors.
When, not so many decades ago, learning that one had TB was tantamount to hearing a sentence of death — as today, in the popular imagination, cancer equals death — it was common to conceal the identity of their disease from tuberculars and, after they died, from their children. Even with patients informed about their disease, doctors and family were reluctant to talk freely. “Verbally I don’t learn anything definite,” Kafka wrote to a friend in April 1924 from the sanatorium where he died two months later, “since in discussing tuberculosis . . . everybody drops into a shy, evasive, glassy-eyed manner of speech.”
The Woman in Black
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