In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in all the lost diary entries that he either ignored or destroyed.
Today, on Facebook, there is a wonderful video from Prague Morning, showing a lamp lighter walking the length of Charles Bridge (in the direction of ‘Kafka’s Castle’), lighting all the lamps. Kafka made this walk hundreds of times (and I managed a few, myself).
The following is the entry I made of Kafka crossing the Bridge, and what he pondered.
Excerpt From Kafka in The Castle
29 August 1917
I strolled the Charles Bridge a long time tonight, before coming on to the castle. I have the feeling that the river air helps my lungs.
I also like the city lights reflecting from the racing water. And the occasional boat, lanterns stern and bow.
I have once or twice steered my own boat through the dark, the flickering light dripping through the gloom before me. If I could have reached the sea while it was still dark, I would have tried to do so. But I was younger then. And could breathe deeply.
Fantasy fuelled this escape, from my Moldau island and then along the Elbe, through Dresden, Magdeburg and Hamburg, to the freedom of Helgoland Bay. Further into the North Sea, if I wanted. Perhaps to Iceland, where I could become lost in the snow and white.
All this, from my perch upon the Charles Bridge, as I strolled from side to side, and one end to the other. My last smile reserved for the statues staring down on me.
Their stony expressions etched upon their faces, as are mine to me.
Link to Lamp Lighting story: