Shelves: kafka , books-to-read I lay on the ground by the wall, writhing in pain, trying to burrow into the damp earth. The huntsman stood beside me and lightly pressed one foot in the small of my back. A splendid beast, he said to the beater, who was cutting open my collar and coat in order to feel my flesh. Already tired of me and eager for fresh action, the hounds were running senselessly against the wall. The coach came, and, bound hand and foot, I was flung in beside the gentleman, over the back seat, so that my head I lay on the ground by the wall, writhing in pain, trying to burrow into the damp earth.
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She generously shared her space with her brother and Kafka loved the quiet and solitude of this space; while visiting this simple hideaway, at the height of winter and world war, he had one of his most productive writing periods. During this time, Kafka started writing in octavo notebooks instead of his diary. Two additional notebooks that Kafka must have used are missing. These nondescript pads, which are filled with writing down to the last page Kafka scholars refer to them as the Octavo Notebooks A through D , offer a startling and confusing sight: long, short, and very brief entries, prose and dialogue, a couple of lines of poetry, dated and undated texts, normal handwriting randomly alternating with shorthand, a scattering of headings, entire pages crossed out, word-for-word repetitions, disjointed sentences, fluid transitions and long dividing lines punctuated by doodles, mysterious names, an address, drafts of letters, a checklist of errands, torn out and mixed up pages, a random slip of paper…everything looking as though he had spread his papers out all over the floor while writing.
There is something decidedly different about reading these notebooks. They are profound, sad and contemplative. I share with you a few of my favorite pieces from the first few notebooks: October 18, Dread of night. Dread of not-night. November It could be imagined that Alexander the Great, in spite of his youthful triumphs in warfare, in spite of the superb army he built up, in spite of the energies he felt in himself that were directed to transforming the world, might have halted at the Hellespont and not have crossed it, and this not from fear, not from irresolution, not from weakness of will, but from the force of gravity.
February 7: Weariness does not necessarily signify weakness of faith—or does it? In any case weariness signifies insufficiency. I feel too tightly constricted in everything that signifies Myself: even the eternity that I am is too tight for me.
But if, for instance, I read a good book, say an account of travels, it rouses me, satisfies me, suffices me. Proofs that previously I did not include this book in my eternity, or had not pushed on far enough ahead to have an intuitive glimpse of the eternity that necessarily includes this book as well. Share this:.
Franz Kafka – The Blue Octavo Notebooks
Blue Octavo Notebooks Quotes