In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the missing entries of his actual diaries. There are many days to fill, as he either did not write during these days, or he destroyed the record.
Franz Kafka had his famous conflict with his father. He wrote a book about it. For The Ides of March, I imagine how Kafka pictured the will and actions of his father.
15 March 1917
Had I been born into a different family – with other parents – I would be a different person. I was doomed from my first breath to have the father I have. My life is shaped beyond the reach of my choice.
I have lived so much of my life defending myself, that I marvel I have advanced at all. It is difficult to have achievements while continually looking over your shoulder for a knife in the back. Harder still, when you have to stop periodically, reach awkwardly around, and pull out the blades embedded there from childhood.
Cut and bloodied fingers make it painful to pick up the life spread before you.
But, my father is not always content to stand behind. From any alley – indeed, from any room, across any table – my father can charge at me with an outstretched lance, or a sword held high to come chopping down across my neck, with the full intent of severing my head from my body.
That he often strikes blindly makes his attack no less destructive.