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1917

Kafka Writes On New Year’s Eve

happy-new-year-2018_2078851

In Kafka In The Castle, I fill in the ‘missing’ diary entries from Kafka’s real diary. He either did not fill in these days himself, or he destroyed them. There are some estimates that Kafka destroyed 70% – 80% of everything he wrote. 

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31 December 1916

The festivities down in the city are certainly subdued, which makes me one with the coming of the year. There were a few shots fired into the air – which is a mockery, considering what is happening in the world. And some dismal fireworks.

Max wanted me at his party, but even he saw little point in celebration, and his entreaties were totally for form.

I understand form quite well – most of my life consists of doing the expected.

Mouthing the proper words.

My letters to Felice have turned to such vehicles of propriety.

In such a way do all our days, and then our lives, acquire the necessary postmarks.

(image)https://images.cdn1.stockunlimited.net/preview1300/happy-new-year-2018_2078851.jpg

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One Hundred Years Ago: Kafka & Summer & Freedom

original

Excerpt from my novel, Kafka In The Castle:

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September 1917

Even though I wait for  the summer to be over, I am always surprised by the abrupt transition.

One Wednesday it can be uncomfortable to walk the streets in the afternoon, but by the weekend it seems I should put the windows down at night.

Now, I have these other desired passages thrust suddenly upon me, but for all my longing I am woefully unprepared.

I am back in my parent’s apartment, but it is only for another week. Then, I am going to Zürau to be with Ottla.

I have been granted three months leave from the Institute.
The Director is most concerned about my state, and speaks of my invaluable contributions. He seems to mean it. Would not hear talk of my resignation.

So, I get to follow Ottla out of Prague – almost with carte blanche.

And there is nothing more to be done with Felice. I may have written her my last letter. What good is a tubercular for a husband?

But – to be with Ottla. To be out of Prague.  To get away from Prague!

DE

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