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My Letter To Franz Kafka

kafka

Dear F:

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 which 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.

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.

People are just one damned thing after another.

Of course, so many people have brought you blessings that you throw up you hands to ward off the snake. Sometimes loosening its grip.

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.

 Yours,

D

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Truth As Pointed Out By Kafka from “Kafka In The Castle”

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(Image by Kafka)

I have filled in Kafka’s missing diaries for a two year period in my novel, Kafka In The Castle. So, a hundred years ago he was – in reality – realizing that his escape from Prague, as he stayed with his sister is a small farming community, was nearing its end. He made some trips back to Prague to try to get his leave from his employer extended. I imagine this happened on one of these trips.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

07 May 1918

Max and I to a coffee house. It was not something I really wanted to do, but I have no good reason for wanting to be on my own. He would take offence. Max – although observant of my needs – becomes (it seems to me) more and more full of himself. And – although I don’t tell him this – his life is just not interesting enough to be exposed in every drop and detail. I did not miss these forays into his loves, his family, and his career, as I lived the eight months in Zurau. And, as far as I can tell, little has changed. The names, perhaps. The places of rendezvous. But the bickering simmers, and his wish for flight still bubbles to the top. Flee to the freedom of the Palestine. All this is more difficult for him, because he wants to be as truthful as he can with everyone. I confess my ears pricked up at this, as my interest (or annoyance) was engaged.

Doktor K: Being partially truthful is like being partially pregnant.

Doktor Max: A truth you’ve brought back from the farm?

Doktor K: Truth does cling to the feet – and the smell lingers.

Doktor Max: Which permeating truth do you think I should know?

Doktor K: That you can not possess a truth and it’s opposite.

 

08 May 1918

I have acquired a farmer’s eye for the weather. My predictions for the next day have so far been surprisingly accurate. Much to the amusement of my father. I at last possess some ability which is of worth.

Truth And Drink With Alison Alexandra

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The woman straightens with enough speed to lose a few drops of her conversational whiskey. She looks at Alison Alexandra in surprise and appreciation. A translucent mask is peeled from her face. She is animated. Her eyes are expectant.

“You are new here.”

“You’re the observer.” Alison Alexandra smiles.

“But I never say what I really see.” The woman finally takes a real drink. “None of us do.”

“But you come up to me – with your observations.”

“In truth -”

The woman stops. She realises how rarely she tells the truth. She is startled that she is about to do so. She is apprehensive.

“In truth, it is on a dare.”

“Someone has dared you to ask me?”

“Actually, a number of people have put money in a pot to see if this will happen.”

“To approach me?”

“Yes.”

“How much am I worth?”

The woman raises her glass and laughs. “A bottle of Scotch.”

“Good Scotch?”

“Not really.” The woman is apologetic, yet she laughs. “It’s not that calibre of party.”

DE

(image)https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/92/c8/a9/92c8a9d4112b23627fd7c39a07440c35.jpg

Unfriended By Crazy Folk On Facebook

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If something interests me, I’m curious to know more. I don’t have to like the topic or source. One does not understand things or people by sticking to their own world view. I fear boredom more than ideas.

So, it strikes me as somewhat odd when three different sources on Facebook cast me to the wolves over the same couple of weeks. Perhaps they were not as diverse as I thought – in their extreme outlook, at any rate.
The first is a renowned – and even revered – author of decades standing, successful to the point of having one novel turned into a famous movie. And, I think I can say, a beloved novel and movie. A feel good enterprise.
So, it came as a surprise (to me, at any rate) when he started posting comments and opinions just a fraction to the left of Donald Trump. Spiteful and hateful and not from ignorance. Swathes of the population of the earth were denigrated and retribution was heaped upon them. I queried (as did many others) these opinions, pointing out, at the very least, factual errors. He never made any response, but did disappear from my time line.
The second was a lady of apparent serene disposition, who posted a continuous array of well-done photographs of both the Vatican, and events that happened there. There was – admittedly – a current of what I thought of as priest porn. She had her favourites and commented about their good looks and regal bearing. She gave them both blessings and adulation. And a notable number of responders agreed with her. OK, thought I. Such a slant made the photos any less enjoyable.
But then, one day, she made (for the tenor of the site) an excessive comment about ungodly folk being consigned to hell and not back. I queried this. She responded, “What?” I clarified. No more photos for me.
And lastly – and more expected – with the unhinged and vitriolic comments issuing from the Conservative side in the US election, I started visiting a right wing site. Know your enemy, no matter how frightening. And I made comments to some of the more outlandish stories and opinions. I would get responses to my comments, but what really struck me odd was that 70% of those who replied to me, agreed with me.
But this state did not last long. To be fair – I did not get barred from this site. I can just no longer register comments.
DE
(image)https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/eb/29/12/eb29121c44fd875c18e0f3a7adec2190.jpg

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