It is a whirlwind in here


February 2023

Franz Kafka Does Not Want To be With People – Until He Does

  In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in **missing** diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. It is estimated Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. I am as accurate as I can be in my timeline.

25 February 1917

               We live a life where the years are short, yet the days can seem so long. We can be lonely, yet find the company of others tedious. I would guess I walked for hours today, so little inclination had I to do anything else. Yet now, with the time soon upon me to go down into the city, I feel as if the day had barely started. The people – numerous, interminable people – whom I met on my walk, wished to drown me in their banal conversations.

     I would flee one, only to run into a couple; escape them, only to be tracked by a family. They enticed me into coffee shops, tricked me into homes, cross-referenced me for their supper tables.

They would even forego meat, they said, if I would only stay. I wanted to tell them that I would actually eat meat, if only I could leave.

And on it seemed to go, an endless day crammed with intruders.

But now, with bare minutes racing toward a new morning, I wish someone sat in my chair beside the lamp, so we could talk deep into the dark.

Somebody Write (Another) Book

The Princess Royal: From Princess Mary to Princess Anne by Helen Cathcart

An engrossing account of the life of Princess Anne and how her role was shaped by the six women who served as Princess Royal before her.

To understand what it is to be a Princess Royal, the ‘doyenne of royal biographers’ Helen Cathcart skilfully portrays the lives of the foremost royal daughters from the days when princesses were ‘ladyes’ and the King’s eldest son was styled Prince Royal, through to our present Princess Royal.

There have been seven Princess Royals throughout British history, the inaugural of whom was Princess Mary, the eldest daughter of King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, followed by Princess Anne (daughter of King George II), Princess Charlotte (daughter of King George III), Princess Victoria (daughter of Queen Victoria), Princess Louise (daughter of King Edward VII), and Princess Mary (daughter of King George V). The current holder of the title, Princess Anne, emerges from this background, clearly demonstrating how the role or Princess Royal has evolved over the generations into one of duty and personal achievement.

Drawing on royal letters, journals and associated material, the author’s fascinating pen captures the first four decades of Princess Anne’s life, from playful child and stylish teenager to champion rider and tireless campaigner for good causes. Along the way are royal engagements and regimental dinners, a love affair with a Dragoon and a terrifying kidnap attempt.

The Princess Royal is the definitive account of what it means to be the first and most royal of royal daughters and how Princess Anne is truly a Princess Royal for our times.

316 pages, Paperback

First published September 19, 2021

Franz Kafka & Sweet Love For Valentine’s Day

Contrary to popular belief, Kafka had a very full love life. He was rarely without a lady friend during any part of his life. When one left, another soon took her place.

The following is a part of a letter he wrote to Felice, the woman he was engaged to – twice. It is fair to say that she was long-suffering. The sentiments Kafka expresses might have given her second thoughts. Perhaps that is partly why there were two engagements.

Think what one will about Kafka’s romantic abilities, he was a chick magnet. Right to the end. After his funeral, his last lover had to be restrained from leaping into his grave to be with him.


11 November, 1912

Fräulein Felice!

I am now going to ask you a favor which sounds quite crazy, and which I should regard as such, were I the one to receive the letter. It is also the very greatest test that even the kindest person could be put to. Well, this is it:

Write to me only once a week, so that your letter arrives on Sunday — for I cannot endure your daily letters, I am incapable of enduring them. For instance, I answer one of your letters, then lie in bed in apparent calm, but my heart beats through my entire body and is conscious only of you. I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough. But for this very reason I don’t want to know what you are wearing; it confuses me so much that I cannot deal with life; and that’s why I don’t want to know that you are fond of me. If I did, how could I, fool that I am, go on sitting in my office, or here at home, instead of leaping onto a train with my eyes shut and opening them only when I am with you?  … Franz


While Kafka was in the first year of his ‘love-of-a-lifetime’ affair with Felice Bauer,  he met “The Swiss Girl”. In his diaries, she was only referred to as W. or G. W. They were together for ten days in a spa on Lake Garda.

She was a Christian. He was thirty, she was eighteen. However, the relationship (apparently sexually consummated) made a great impression on him for the rest of his life.

Research over the years  finally revealed her name is Gerti Wasner. However, very little else (as far as I can find) is known about her.

Where did her life lead after an encounter with Kafka?

Here are some of Kafka’s actual diary entries about the incident.


20 October 1913

I would gladly write fairy tales (why do I hate the word so?) that could please W. and that she might sometimes keep under  the table at meals, read between courses, and blush f

22 October 1913.

Too late. The sweetness of sorrow and of love. To be smiled at by her in the boat. That was most beautiful of all. Always only the desire to die and the not-yet-yielding; this alone is love.

Translated by Joseph Kresh

Sister Darling Saves A Soul For Valentine’s Day

Sister Darling, of

The Rarefied Church of the World (reformed),

Stepped onto the dock of

The Partridge Island Lighthouse

This Valentine Day morning,

From an outgoing fishing boat,

To spend the day (and night)

On behalf of my religious studies.

Provisions she brought, beyond

Usual Lighthouse Keeper fare,

Incl. chocolates and bottles o’ wine.

There were even finely cut

Fresh fish fillets for

Paw, my cat/kitten,

Black as soot

With one white mitten.

And when my religious instructions

Were done,

And before our festive feast,

We greeted each other with

Such enthusiasm,

That her hair-holding bun

Became undone,

And cascaded across her shoulders,

Giving Paw, the cat/kitten,

A place to hide.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2023 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report}

Buddy’s Ghost Was At The Theater And I Almost Said Hello

I once related the story of seeing my long-dead uncle driving past in a car. A learned, and much older gentleman, told others that I had had the common experience of seeing dead people. Up to that point, I didn’t know it was common. I’m not sure it is, as no one else has mentioned it to me.

But, at any rate, I saw Buddy’s ghost at the theater last night. It still takes me by surprise, though it no longer startles me. And I didn’t say “Hello”, because I thought it would startle the person, dead or not.

And a theater was the right place, for Buddy was an actor. A professional actor in his younger days, with a country-wide reputation. When I knew him, he had settled into being a theater/acting/directing teacher, affiliated with a university. He still did some turns on the stage. His advice was sought. His company was enjoyed. His personality was appreciated. Never boring. Never a bore.

And he was a damn good chef.  And a great story-teller over his meals.

And, at the theater, when I saw his ghost, there was his hat. Buddy could be a snazzy dresser. This guy was a snazzy dresser – stood out in the crowd – though I only saw him but the once. Not unusual that. I didn’t expect to see him again. I never saw my uncle again, either.

And – when all is said and done – I didn’t really have anything to say.

“How’s it going?”

“Well – you know.”

“How’s it going?”

“Well – you know. Much as you expect.”

“How’s it going?”

“You’ll know soon enough.”

I didn’t really expect to be told of Elysian Fields or Thrones of Gold or What is in Shakespeare’s tomb.

So, I didn’t approach him, and say “Hello”. And make him turn around.

And – in truth – a day later, I’m not so sure about the hat.


Gotta say, this is a very good (and succinct) introduction to Kafka (and I LUV “The Castle”) Kafka Interactions

My history with the work of Franz Kafka, a year before his centennial. || Dick Turner

Source: Kafka Interactions

I Sing Wagner As Arctic Winds Howl Straight From The North Pole

You don’t see it often,

(And you don’t want to).

The water along the rocks

Is splashing up as ice

On this frigid, frigid day.

Paw, my cat/kitten

Black as the ice

Sometimes can be,

With one white mitten,

Does not cease in his complaints.

I’ve brought him with me

In his cage,


On his own

He would be blown away.

He doesn’t realize that.

We cower on the shore,

And look out to sea.

We spy a ship

With its sails down

And a white aura

Enveloping her.

A snow squall perhaps,


Perhaps something else

As you can only see

Out at sea.

And, to appease the cat/kitten,

To calm him down,

(As well as myself)

I sing some Wagner,

Belt it out against the wind.

“That storm it wants a battle
And it’s sure that we’re outgunned!
That ghostly ship is hunting us
It’s bringing on the gale!
She’s called the Flying Dutchman
And it’s rage that fills her sails!”

And – indeed – it does us some good.

And then,

We high tail it

Back to the shelter

Of home.

I’m The Lighthouse Poet Laureate of Partridge Island /1821 – 2021 / A lot of stuff have I seen / A lot of stuff to report

Kafka Had Sex and Sex and More Sex

I had personal communication today, where the new translation of Kafka’s Diaries ( was discussed.

The original diary, published after his death by his closest friend, Max Brod, was ‘altered and censored’ to make him appear to be a saint. Interpretations of some of the new material disclosed can (in certain circles) imply that Kafka was either asexual, or interested in men.

Not (of course) that sex interests me, but I will point out that Kafka had more than a fair share of sexual encounters, both from professional ladies, to a reasonably steady stream of female companions, the last of whom had to held back from leaping into his open grave.

It is true he does also seem to feel that sex is a weakness of the flesh, and thus (perhaps) below the purity of a true artist. Maybe it was more than just his desire to write, that kept him up so late most nights. He was uncomfortable having sexual relations, but that did not stop his pursuits.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑