Brazil

Kafka’s Leopards by Moacyr Scliar

Moacyr Scliar~Brazil


Leopards in the Temple

Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can e calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the
ceremony.

–Franz Kafka (1883-1924), (transl. Clement Greenberg), from Parables and Paradoxes, 1946

Perhaps the leopards symbolized something. A leopard is a wild beast. Capitalists are ferocious in their greed for profit and their exploitation of the
proletariat. Killing a leopard in a zoo might be a way of demonstrating to the capitalists that their days were numbered. But, reasoned Mousy, workers are also ferocious when demanding their