‘My barge has no rudder’, says Kafka’s hunter Gracchus, who is both dead and alive, and therefore is eternally roaming the earth and its waters. Being adrift – Gracchus explains – my little boat is sailing along with the wind, wherever that wind is blowing. Alas, it is from the lowest spheres of death, in the underworld, that the wind is blowing. That is why Gracchus cannot find his death.
It appears that, to meet with one’s death in due time, apt steering is required. We all need a rudder to set out and follow our life’s course, sailing to the end, and to make sure we get there.