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Kafka Plans An Escape From His Life

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. 

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19 June 1917

           I arrived here tonight far later than usual. I had been on a day trip for the Institute, dealing with a court case for a few hours. I was in the station at the furthest reaches of Prague, waiting for the last train to bring me downtown. A taxi would have been more efficient, but I found myself in no hurry. I walked around the station, and found myself staring at the Departures List. All those places, with many trains still passing into the night. Bern. Copenhagen. Florence.

     I had a large amount of the Institute’s money with me (I had won our case), and all my travel documents in order – the war can be circumvented by bureaucrats. I think it was just having all that money which gave rise to such ideas. I realized that, with the right explanations, even London was possible. If I so desired. I had it all arranged in my head. The official letter I would send to Max, before I left the empire, authorizing him to pay back the Institute from my bank account. I had even figured – accurately – the interest to add for each day up until next Monday. And I knew I could trust him to tidy up my other business matters – my apartment, and this tiny house.

     I would tell him to destroy all my manuscripts – he could use this stove. Other letters I could write from other places – to Ottla, to F., to my parents. I thought that I might even be able to eventually make my way to Palestine. That would meet with Max’s approval.

And the trains kept departing before my eyes, one, and another, and another. They were not even crowded, the hour was so late.

And then, there was my train. Back into Prague.

I was the last one on.

Commander-in-Chief Putin Needs All of His Masks To (Perhaps) Survive

I have updated this post from an earlier year, by making a number of cuts, and changing the name of the character to Putin. Waste not, want not.  I believe this character remains suitably ridiculous, but is now dangerous beyond my imagination.

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Commander-in-Chief  Putin decided it would be a grand day to become Admiral of the Fleet – Lord High Admiral, if he chose the hat with cockade and plume.

The plume put on an impressive display, as he either agreed (or disapproved) with a toss (or a shake) of his head. The dancing ostrich feathers would add a dashing air as he boarded his flagship. He would, of course, be extra careful about the pitfalls awaiting a small man, with ornate dress sword and scabbard, among the steep steps and narrow companionways.

Wednesday is khaki day for Commander-in-Chief Putin.

It was the day set aside to remind him of the loyalty he must always retain from his men. What is a leader without his troops? As a treat – for really, dull brown did not make a striking appearance – he would choose the tank commander’s uniform.

With its wide web belt and shiny black holster on the hip, the flap unsnapped, to reveal the butt of a MP-443 Grach, or “Rook”.  And  black leather gloves.. And a steel helmet polished to a mirror-shine.

The riding crop? Ah, the riding crop was debatable.

Today Commander-in-Chief Putin will have a parade.

Massed men at attention with stiffly-held rifles and fixed bayonets.

Commander-in-Chief Putin would have to choose carefully. to represent his awesome power and responsibility. Cavalry boots are a must, raising half-way up the calf, resounding with silver spurs, steel-tipped toes and elevated heels.

Then would come crisp black trousers, billowing majestically around the thighs, kept up with a wide leather belt. He took care that each red stripe reaching the length of each leg was as straight as an arrow.

His blue tunic, he decided, would have only muted decorations, with the minimum of gold braid entwined about his shoulders. He is – after all – a fighting general.

Although I Judge, I Never Pass Sentence

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.

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

02 February 1917

Their faces – sometimes.

I am not a man to cry (am barely capable of it) but those times when I see their faces. The social cast gone, and they think themselves unobserved.

They have such a revelation that they do not care – or, more accurately, they are beyond caring. A bewildering revelation. A truth, which once known, they can never escape.

They now know they can never escape.

Perhaps, because I observe more, I see more.

Or, perhaps the less resilient come through the doors of the Institute, with their injuries and their needs. Perhaps it is this war.

Perhaps they somehow know that although I judge, I never pass sentence.

When I see this look upon their faces – the fear of life itself.

Putin And Satan Walk Into A Bar In Kiev On The Way To Hell

~ Vladimir, Vladimir, who’s being a bad boy?

~ I protect all the Russias.

~ Who’s your daddy?

~ They tell me it is you.

~ Then don’t lie to your father.

~ Why?

~ It only makes the dark side darker.

~ But I must lie to get what I want.

~ And what do you want?

~ To be loved.

~ You are too vile to be loved.

~ Even by my father?

~ Who art in Hell. Hollow be my name.

~ I will at least make them respect me.

~ Or kill them in the process.

~ Of course – it is what they deserve.

~Tell me.

~ What?

~ What do you really want?

~ To be taller.

~ That sounds true.

~ My shadow stretches over the world.

~ Yet your body barely blocks the light.

~ I will be noticed.

~ You will be trampled.

Putin and Hitler Walk Into a Bar in Ukraine On the Way to Hell

~ Impaler, how are you doing?

~ Just fine, Adolf – how are you?

~ Missing the old days.

~ Why do you call me Impaler?

~ Vlad the Impaler – the perfect bloodthirsty tyrant

~ You were no slouch, Adolf.

~ Ja – but you are a good student.

~  Better than you, Adolf.

~ What makes you think that?

~ I’m going to win.

~ No – not possible.

~ Why do you say that?

~ I at least believed in something.

~ What was that?

~ Myself.

~ They know I am great,

~ You are despised, Impalier.

~ So were you, Adolf.

~ But I didn’t care.

~ But I am feared.

~ Not enough. Your reign will be short.

~ I have ruled for a long time.

~ But you used to know when to stop.

Putin and Trump Walk Into A Bar and Discuss the Future [UPDATED]

~ How much vodka did you have, Vlad?

~ Why do you ask, Donnie?

~ ‘Cause you’re reaching kinda far – even for you.

~ Are you jealous, Donnie?

~ Well, I had God on my side, and even I didn’t take this step.

~ You were a funny little president, Donnie.

~  You’re making me seem lucid.

~ So far – so good. Isn’t that right, Donnie?

~ What is good about this; Vlad?

~ I’m still standing,

~ For how long?

~ Until I am Tzar of all the Russias.

Note:

The title Tsar of all the Russias originated in connection with Russia’s victory in the Great Northern War of 1700-1721 and appeared as the adaptation of the Tsar ‘s title under the accepted system of titling in Europe.

What The Tyranny Of An Occupying Government Really Means To Freedom

In my novel, Kafka In The Castle, I fill in his lost diaries.  Here, as the learned Doktor of Laws from the big city, he has been asked to speak to the citizens of the small village of Zurau, where he is living with his sister.

He is talking about the end of the Empire that the townsfolk have been living under all their lives. The Empire, the Emperor, and the civilization they know, is soon to be swept away. Will their lives go with it?

Kafka speaks the truth, and Kafka avoids the truth.

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

15 January 1918

This war. They wanted my opinions about this endless war. These earnest, honest men, awaiting the words from the Herr Doktor of Prague.

I agreed only to answer questions – that way I could not be accused of fermenting treason. Even in these troubled times, the law allows a man to answer questions. Assuming that the law prevails.

The law was present in the form of the policeman, attending this questionable gathering while still in uniform. He doffed his hat as he shook my hand. I would rather have him in our midst, than lurking in the hall, taking notes. We have nothing to fear from him.

“Will the empire last?”

This was first from their lips. And they must have needed to hear the words, for even the Emperor must know that all is lost. The Old Order, having fallen into the hands of dull and witless men, must succumb. The complacency of the age must be purged – but that has not yet happened. That awaits the next generation – and the destruction will be furious. But I do not tell them this.

I am skillful in what I do not tell them, for the truth is beyond their power to persuade or control. (Their next questions would have been more difficult had I not curbed the truth further still.)

“What will happen to Zurau? What will happen to us?”

And they have every right to worry. To suspect. When a society crumbles, it is those at the bottom who get crushed. But I told them that Amerika seemed a just power – not bent on retribution.

I did not tell them that a victor can do as he wants.

And I told them that we live in a secondary part of a secondary empire – the powers of destruction will be concentrated on Vienna and Berlin.

I did not tell them that during the death of a snake, the spasms of the tail can be lethal.

And I told them something which could really be of help. I told them, in this coming year, to grow more food: fatten more beasts: prepare, preserve and put away. Fill their cellars and barns to bursting with food and fuel. Buy some things now, which they can use for barter later if the currency becomes worthless. Look after their families and lands. Look after each other.

16 January 1918

I did not tell them that war is the end result of injustice and arrogance, and that it is oftentimes necessary. I did not tell them that when the natural balance is upset by human action, the cost of righting it must be made in human payment. I did not tell them that a country where neighbour is cruel to neighbour is a country mean for war.

The Biggest Ship At Sea I Ever Did See

Up in the turret
Of my Lighthouse,
Out to sea,
And through my
Nautical spyglass,
I saw
The largest,
Meanest,
Baddest,
Man-o’-War
I have ever seen.
Not coming into port,
But passing to an
Unknown (to me) destination.
I’m glad I am only
Out to sea
On this harbour
Lighthouse Island,
Because I have just
Seen
The Angel of Death.


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

Man of War Leaves Port for the Seven Seas

I am attired

In my navel uniform,

Which I am sometimes

Expected to wear,

In service

To my Monarch.


I represent the might

Of Majesty,

As sole subject,

Yet overlord,

Of the Lighthouse

On Partridge Island


I am to stand at


Attention,

And even salute,

As a Man of War,

All three masts

And 124 cannon,

Sails past from harbour

On its way to sea.


The Captain

Will stand


On the bow


To salute me.


I am going to give

Each owner,

Of every telescope

Trained on me,

A treat,

And

A tale to tell.


I am going to be holding

Paw,

My cat/kitten,

Black as night

With one white mitten,

In his cage,

To let him

Inspect this departing,

Fighting ship.


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

DE BA. UEL

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