Paper Deer (Pencil)


Day 40.

This is another drawing I did from the cover of  a book. It is from a modern Penguin edition of Franz Kafka’s The Castle which I never finished. The cover image was intriguing to me. It was of a photograph a deer made out of paper bags.

A strange and bizarre image, slightly disturbing too. I just researched the cover and see the deer was worn as a mask by a male figure. It is crudely attached to him with rope and a block of some sort. Very effective image and so very apt for this bewildering Kafka text.

I recall feeling nervous and apprehensive while reading it. The confusion and frustration endured increasingly by the central character known only as K on his lowly quest for access were maddening in a very disagreeable way so I discontinued it.

Perhaps it was too close to home for me. The vivid description of the protagonist’s  incrementally increasing state of anxiety, frustration, expectation followed by deflation was more than I could endure. The setting so bleakly banal, a murky maze inhabited by petty bureaucrats and officials, a host of doubting sneering gatekeepers. Torture without respite. Possibly easier for others to indulge in but I say only possibly but those are some states I am all too familiar with and need little stimuli to generate them which is why I put it aside.

Kafka died before completing it.

The cover image reflects the nightmarish world the reader is drawn into.

I didn’t include the masked figure but focussed on the sculptural qualities of the paper deer. It was very challenging to draw and I am amazed at how lifelike they look.


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