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Language AI (it wrote me an analysis of a nonexistant poem by Kafka) (1 Viewer)

I found this language-generating AI that constructs text based on the text you enter: if you enter some lines of poetry, it will write a poem in that style; if you enter essay opening, it will write an essay in that style. Or at least, that's the theory. I've been playing with it, and it's surprisingly cohesive, which of course makes it's bizarre constructions all the more fascinating and hilarious. Also, it often puts out things unrelated in style and form to what you wrote So, when I put in this last paragraph of a story I wrote:

I had asked what use man has for God—you may ask, more rightly, what use He has for us! And yet, the incomprehensible humility, that he should stoop to peer through that glittering foliage, that I should catch even a sideways glance of him—I am destroyed! I am destroyed! I am changed utterly, and this beauty born from terror, like the poppies on the graves, is only one shot of light from that inexpressible center—ah, I know, I know, why He is always behind us: if he were before us, what should we do? How can I bear the day when the leaves shall clear away and the forest spread open, and we shall meet face to face?

It gave me this entire thing (I snipped off some stuff at the end and beginning and italicized the poetry segments to make it clear, but otherwise it's unedited):



Looking back at Kafka’s “Obligatory Descriptive Printer” can be a dizzying, bewildering experience. It was published in an English translation for the first time last month. But its original publication in Der Tog by Franz Kafka, edited by Martin Wolffsohn, was in 1922, and marks a special kind of rebirth. There are no attempts at lyricism in the original German text: it is all a rushed scrawl. But the idiom is romantic: strong, heavy syllables, difficult words. It has one of the most sensual openings I’ve read in my life, with an image so intimate that it feels somehow biblical:

I looked at it,
a small flower grown on the dead trunk of an oak tree,
leaves drooping over the crown;
my mother told me it was a nightflower.
A surprise flower grown on a dead branch,
had I died and gone to heaven!

It takes the alien visitor to a holy place and puts him in an uncomfortable, vulnerable position, and only afterwards does it welcome him into its divine beauty, like an evangelical at a Pentecostal church. If there was another type of beauty that could possibly suit it, it might be the intensity of a great natural landscape: rolling hills that open to a bright blue sky, tall trees clinging to the bare ground, fresh, cooling air. But the beautiful world in Kafka’s poem is not natural, at least not entirely: it’s imbued with an awkward, tortured life, the crooked branches of which are pined by the sun; the gnarled, twisted leaves are moist with blood. But its ugliness is deceptive; for all its horrors and fratricide, it is nonetheless, according to the speaker, blessed with a new sense. The blossoms and flowers of that same oak tree—the flowers that appear every autumn and die the following spring—that is the contentment that he longs for, as he becomes, by degrees, aware of what he has lost:

To come to that tree, the wistful age:
I would not have missed it for all the world.
And that the bird’s song of those immense trees
would be lost;
that he himself might be lost,
and that the wind and rain
may break the very heart of that tree.
But the tree knows,
at night,
that it hears the weeping of a man
for an old sorrow—
that man too is holy,
an ancient thing—
and that the blessed wind
holds him fast,
that it mocks the man.

Kafka writes in his notebook: “For this poem, I prayed, absolutely I prayed.” This beautiful, haunting, unforgettable poem was one of only a few, along with “In the Penal Colony,” that actually won Kafka a Nobel Prize in 1908. Even when he received the prize, Kafka didn’t believe it. Years later, when his books were reprinted, he would go back and read the text again. He would read the title, the “Obligatory Descriptive Printer,” and then he would see the name “Schindler” on the cover, and he would think, “All right. But I won a Nobel Prize!”
 
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