Kafka’s journals

‘Zeno, pressed as to whether anything is at rest, replied, yes, the flying arrow rests. ‘

Kafka – his diaries are more absorbing than his fictions. The imagery , dream-like quality …but it is true, he was a chronically unhappy man , he was unhappy,  not very happy at least. An unhappy man K. was. He could not gain inspiration from music ; he was unhappily constituted. Those sentences are the most abominable I have ever written . They say time spent in books is life lived vicariously. If only the thing itself – life – could be so natural and real as it is in books.


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‘December 22. Today I don’t even dare to reproach myself. Shouted into this empty day, it would have a disgusting echo’  (1911)

‘Being alone has a power over me that never fails . My interior dissolves ( for the time being only superficially) and is ready to release what lies deeper. As light ordering of my interior begins to take place and I need nothing more , for disorder is the worst thing in small talents. ‘

‘The young, clean , well dressed youths near me on the promenade reminded me of my youth and therefore made an unappetizing impression on me’

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‘February 21. My life here is just as if I were quite certain of a second life, in the same way, for example, I got over the pain of my unsuccessful visit to Paris with the thought that I would try to go there again very soon. With this the sight of the sharply divided lights and shadows on the pavement of the streets. (1911)

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‘For the length of a moment I felt myself clad in steel. How far from me are – for example – my arm muscles ‘

‘By the way, last night I purposely made myself dull, went for a walk, read Diderot, then felt a little better and had lost the strength for sorrow. I still regarded the sorrow justified but it seemed to have withdrawn somewhat ‘

‘This morning, for the first time in a long time, the joy of imagining a knife twisted in my heart ‘

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‘The way the boss leans back sideways in his armchair in order to get room and support for the Eastern-Jewish gestures of his hand. The interaction and reciprocal re-enforcement of the play of his hand and face… temple melodies in the cadence of his speech; the melody is led from finger to finger as through various registers , especially when enumerating several points ‘

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