Almost daily he whetted his keen knife and scraped and whittled at his young beard to eradicate this degrading emblem of apehood
A pre-logical state of mind corresponds to a stage in human development that Jack London called Before Adam (London 1907); but while the protagonist of London's novel seems to kind of remember his past, another contemporary of him, namely "Rotpeter" from Kafka's Report to an Academy, cannot share any memories of his "former life as an ape", since Rotpeter has left his "apehood
" behind him already "five years" ago--a period that may be short in terms of the calendar but is an infinitely long one to gallop through" (Kafka 1996, 81).
Like Wittgenstein, Red Peter subverts the expectations of his audience; instead of augmenting their "human knowledge of apehood
" he displays his own "apish knowledge of humanity"--a "reversal" that, Ong writes, '"captures' his audience, forcing them to confront" (226) the question of whether they will acknowledge Red Peter as a member of their community.
Its protagonist is Red Peter, an ape-man, who addresses members of a learned body in order to give an account of his recent transformation from apehood
to human life.