03 July is Kafka’s birthday. Celebrations are running rampant in the world.
Hearty renditions of “Hip hip hooray” with an exuberant “Huzzah!”, echo through every major city, and each quiet hamlet.
And this year, I will dive (and then delve) into the new book containing all of Kafka’s various drawings. Some are a tad odd.
I have written Franz the following letter (as yet, unanswered).
My Present / Your Future
Still in this World
A Life Away
You would find it perverse to be wished a “Happy” birthday, but your response would be gracious. Such is the reality you understand, and how you deal with it. I have found that your reality is actually real.
Although it will give you no pleasure – well, ‘little’ pleasure – you are correct in all your observations.
Governments become the tools of the bureaucracies which run them. It doesn’t matter what type of Government, from the monarchy under which you lived, to the right wing horror of fascists that called themselves socialists, to the inept socialism pretending to be ‘for the people’. All three governments held their sway over the city where you spent your life. All three oppressed the people they ruled. All three looked after themselves first.
Writers are either writers or they aren’t. The urge to write encircles one like a snake around its prey. Feed it and it won’t quite squeeze you to death. You can not ignore it – even at your peril. It is with you every hour of every day, ever inquisitive and (sadly) always looking for something better. You have thrown up your hands to ward off the snake. Sometimes – some few times – it loosens its grip.
Love is a see-saw of extremes. Every high guarantees a low. Every low reaches for a high. Every high reaches for a high. When these hills and valleys are eventually levelled, they are still desired.
Sex is highly over rated. The thing of it is, even rated fairly, ’tis a consummation devoutly to be had. Yes – I know – you appreciate Shakespeare. On a par with Goethe, even if you can’t bring yourself to say the words.
There is no castle with walls thick enough to hide against the perils of being human. Which is why you never tried.
Except the grave, of course.
Except the grave.
And, in my novel about him, Kafka In The Castle, I gave him this diary entry.
03 July 1918
The anniversary of my birth.
In celebration of the day, I did not make it my last.