Franz Kafka recorded many dreams in his diaries. Thus, I gave him many dreams in my novel, Kafka In The Castle. The novel ‘fills in’ all the days where there are no entries in his actual diaries.
04 April 1917
Dreamed I was to take a train journey.
I tried to find my travel papers, but all the drawers were jammed shut. The cupboard doors refused to open. My wallet was stuffed with money – colourful bills worth thousands of marks – yet no passport, no police clearance.
I could find no proof of who I was, and no permission to cross borders. I feared I was going to be late, so I put on an overcoat, grabbed a small bag off the bed, and hurried from the room.
The door led directly to the station platform, and I was quickly caught in lines of people. A man in uniform harshly requested to see our tickets, but when I explained I had been unable to find any of my documents, he pointed to my case.
Inside were passports and papers from every country in Europe. I handed him one, but over my name was a photo of hog. Another had a picture of a donkey. A third showed sheep. Rodents, insects, and finally an ape, all appearing over my name and signature.
“You are Doktor Kafka?” he demanded.
“Yes,” I answered. I was terrified – what face did I have now?
“You are the veterinarian,” he said, finally satisfied. “Down to the end of the train.” He pointed the way, and I hurried along.
I walked and walked, but the train just became longer. Box cars and cattle cars were filled with the most terrible animal clamour, and reeking of filth. And I wondered, as I searched in vain for the end of this endless train, where would my destination finally be?