Archives for posts with tag: Franz Kafka

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YES
by Candace Butler

say nothing at all
let yourself go
don’t ask
yes, I saw
yes, nothing more
 
of course he will mistake your meaning
and interpret it to please himself
 
of course he is the kind of man
compelled to take part in whatever happens
 
you will certainly be invited
the invitation will come
make sure you’re there
matter

SOURCE: “Yes” by Candace Butler is based on page 214 The Metamorphosis, the Penal Colony, and Other Stories by Franz Kafka, Trans. Willa and Edwin Muir (Shocken Books, 1975).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Candace Butler is an MFA candidate at Antioch University of Los Angeles. She is a writer, artist, and musician residing in her hometown of Sugar Grove, Virginia, a small town in the Appalachian Mountains.

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KAFKA’S HAT
by Richard Brautigan

With the rain falling
surgically against the roof,
I ate a dish of ice cream
that looked like Kafka’s hat. 

Photo: Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

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Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” FRANZ KAFKA

Artwork: “Flowers” (1964) by Andy Warhol

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WRITING ADVICE FROM FRANZ KAFKA: Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion.”

ARTWORK: “Butterfly” by Andy Warhol 

Note: In ancient Greek, the word for butterfly is “Psyche,” a term now equated with “soul.”

Download Kafka’s classic tale of transformation, THE METAMORPHOSIS, for free at gutenberg.org.

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“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” 

FRANZ KAFKA

Artwork: “Flowers” (1964) by Andy Warhol

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“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” FRANZ KAFKA

Illustration: “Neuschwanstein” (1987) by Andy Warhol.

ABOUT THE ARTWORK: Andy Warhol based this silkscreen on a tourism poster of the 19th century Neo-romanticist Neuschwanstein castle in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The Neuschwanstein has appeared in many films and served as the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle.

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Today marks the 130th anniversary of the birth of Franz Kafka, born on July 3, 1883 in Prague (Bohemia, Austria-Hungary). In a piece of unplanned symmetry, the Charles Bukowski poem we posted yesterday (“I Like Your Books”) ends with the line, “let ’em go back to Kafka.” So, yes, today we are going back to Kafka and will post a variety of quotes from the great author — and he had much to say about books and writing.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883 –  June 3, 1924) was a German-language writer of novels and short stories, regarded by critics as one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. His major works include The Metamorphosis, The Trial, and The Castle. A lawyer by training, Kafka worked in an insurance company and wrote short stories in his spare time — but only a few of his works were published during his lifetime. Kafka’s unfinished manuscripts were published posthumously, mostly by his friend Max Brod, who ignored Kafka’s wish to destroy the material. Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre are among the writers influenced by Kafka’s work; the term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe surreal situations such as those in his writing. (Read more at Wikipedia.org.)

Artwork: Franz Kafka by Andy Warhol (1980)

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THE CASTLE (Novel Excerpt)
by Franz Kafka

Translated from the German
by Anthea Bell

Chapter 1, Arrival

It was late evening when K. arrived. The village lay deep in snow. There was nothing to be seen of Castle Mount, for mist and darkness surrounded it, and not the faintest glimmer of light showed where the great castle lay. K. stood on the wooden bridge leading from the road to the village for a long time, looking up at what seemed to be a void.

Then he went in search of somewhere to stay the night. People were still awake at the inn. The landlord had no room available, but although greatly surprised and confused by the arrival of a guest so late at night, he was willing to let K. sleep on a straw mattress in the saloon bar. K. agreed to that. Several of the local rustics were still sitting over their beer, but he didn’t feel like talking to anyone. He fetched the straw mattress down from the attic himself, and lay down near the stove. It was warm, the locals were silent, his weary eyes gave them a cursory inspection, and then he fell asleep.

But soon afterwards he was woken again. A young man in town clothes, with a face like an actor’s — narrowed eyes, strongly marked eyebrows — was standing beside him with the landlord. The rustics were still there too, and some of them had turned their chairs round so that they could see and hear better. The young man apologized very civilly for having woken K., introduced himself as the son of the castle warden, and added: “This village belongs to the castle, so anyone who stays or spends the night here is, so to speak, staying or spending the night at the castle. And no one’s allowed to do that without a permit from the count. However, you don’t have such a permit…” 

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In the photo above, actor James Franco holds an edition of Kafka‘s THE CASTLE released by Schocken Publishing in 1998. (Find the book at Amazon.com.)

Franz Kafka died from tuberculosis at age 40 in 1924 before finishing THE CASTLE, considered one of his greatest works. Only a few of Kafka’s stories were published during his lifetime, and his literary executor ignored his request to burn the remaining manuscripts after his death.

A lawyer by profession, Kafka spent much of his life in the insurance business investigating claims — and worked on his writing before or after his day job. Today, Kafka is considered one of the most influential authors of the past hundred years. Poet W.H. Auden called him “The Dante of the 20th century.” Kafka’s other well-known works include THE TRIAL and METAMORPHOSIS, books that are available for free in a variety of formats (including Kindle) at Gutenberg.org.

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 “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” 

FRANZ KAFKA

PHOTO: “Bacoli, Italy (Naples Province)” by Adam Allegro. Congratulations to photographer Adam Allegro for the above photo’s selection as a Los Angeles Times Editor’s Choice, Summer 2012.

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KAFKA’S HAT

Poem by Richard Brautigan

With the rain falling
surgically against the roof,
I ate a dish of ice cream
that looked like Kafka’s hat. 

Photo: Franz Kafka (1883-1924)