Kafka’s Diaries

19 thoughts on “Kafka’s Diaries”

  1. His words do indeed ring true. ‘The tremendous world I have in my head. But how [to] free myself and free it without being torn to pieces,’ pretty much says it all. Great post, thank you.

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  2. It is so true how our favorite writers in our youth don’t always hold up. Hemingway was mine. I still love his short stories but his novels not so much. It’s Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby I’ve grown to love.

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  3. What an amount of great quotes! Thanks! I reread Metamorphosis every so often, it doesn’t loose anything of its power. My favorite short story by Kafka – probably my favorite short story ever – is The Vulture. Only one page, but brilliant.

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  4. I also have the Corngold edition of Metamorphosis and the notes are very helpful, as you mention. I have not read the Diaries, but your post has motivated me to do so. Thanks.

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  5. It’s an odd thing, Don. I especially loved Hesse’s “Demian” and “Steppenwolf,” but was extremely disappointed, rereading them a few years ago. I don’t know if you had a similar experience: I asked myself how someone well out of their teens could have written either book, & why they were thought so well of. This entire business of reputation & posterity fascinates me, & how they fluctuate.

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  6. Thank you. In a way it’s beyond ridiculous to feel affection & even a sense of kinship for writers one has never met, Kafka especially (you sense he wouldn’t get along with most people who read him), but I can’t help it. He strikes me as a figure like Van Gogh: both suffered greatly for their art, both articulated the process and the highs and lows; and both seem to have died in despair. For all that, we’re lucky to have their work.

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  7. This is so true. Simply knowing more about the two World Wars than I did when I first read Kafka, or about the history of Totalitarianism in the twentieth century, illuminates the last chapter of The Trial beyond anything Kafka could have intended. One hesitates to call him prophetic, or be too mystic about it, but it’s astonishing to see so much of modern history in Joseph K’s execution.

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  8. Not ridiculous, just human. Growing up people like Kafka kept me afloat, they made me realise that I wasn’t alone. In a way I can look back at that as a kind of friendship and so to feel affection is natural. We are indeed lucky.

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  9. I have always admired Kafka’s ability to work a full time job in the office and to write. However, one sees in many of these posts that it was difficult for him, and a large source of his unhappinesss.

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  10. “On the Road” did that for me. I’ve come to the conclusion that some novels are meant to be read in your youth. With Hemingway, somehow I had lost my taste for his novels.

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  11. I loved this post, thank you for sharing these excerpts with us. Fascinating to hear the thoughts of an artist that freed him from his life as much as burdened his mind. Very inspiring for my own writing.

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  12. I loved this post, thank you for sharing it with us. Fascinating to hear the thoughts of an artist which freed him from his life as much as burdened his mind. Very inspiring for my own writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The Great Gatsby I say the film. The Heart of the Matter is one of the best books I’v read. Graham Green is one of my favourites.
    I’m looking for a Kafka’s text on his Journals, titled The “Célibataire” in french. I can’t find it on line.
    Luísa

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