Excerpt from my Kafka In The Castle, where I fill in all of his missing diary entries. Here he is dealing with a time twenty-eight years after the first May Day was declared. Kafka dealt with workers every day of his work life. But he didn’t take their problems home.
By the way – in real life – Kafka is credited with inventing the the hard hat.
27 April 1917
Life seems to offer a handful of solutions which solve nothing. If I could get out of Prague, then I wouldn’t have to get out of Prague.
29 April 1917
Ottla managed to get away, and I’ll be able to visit. The dead man next door (I have since found his name was Adolf) also managed to get out of Prague. Him, I can not visit, but I can follow.
03 May 1917
The thoughts of the living discourage the dead. I spend so much time watching over myself, that there is no one left to watch over me.
06 May 1917
I write to Ottla. I make no mention of her terminated neighbour. I do say “hello” from father. Not an uneven balance.
08 May 1917
If Shakespeare were alive today, and people pestered him about Hamlet, would he wonder what all the fuss was about?