Archive for the 'Yaddo' Category


December 28, 2013

When I have acted like a human being for a few hours, as I did today with Max and later at Baum’s, I am already full of conceit before I go to sleep.

—Franz Kafka, December 28, 1910, from Diaries 1910–1923

A question of words

December 27, 2013

My strength no longer suffices for another sentence. Yes, if it were a question of words, if it were sufficient to set down the word and one could turn away in the calm consciousness of having entirely filled this word with oneself.

I slept part of the afternoon away, while I was awake I lay on the sofa, thought about several love experiences of my youth, lingered in a pique over a neglected opportunity (at the time I was lying in bed with a slight cold and my governess read me The Kreutzer Sonata, which enabled her to enjoy my agitation), imagined by vegetarian supper, was satisfied with my digestion, and worried whether my eyesight would last all my life.

—Franz Kafka, December 27, 1910, from Diaries 1910–1923

My interior dissolves

December 26, 2013

Two and a half days I was, though not completely, alone, and already I am, if not transformed, at any rate on the way. Being alone has a power over me that never fails. My interior dissolves (for the time being only superficially) and is ready to release what lies deeper. A slight ordering of my interior begins to take place and I need nothing more, for disorder is the worst thing in small talents.

—Franz Kafka, December 26, 2010, from Diaries 1910–1923

That’s the person I am

December 25, 2013

In this pigeonhole lie old papers that I should long ago have thrown away if I had a waste-paper basket, pencils with broken points, an empty match-box, a paperweight from Karlsbad, a ruler with an edge the unevenness of which would be awful even for a country road, a lot of collar buttons, used razor blades (for these there is no place in the world), tie clips and still another heavy iron paperweight. In the pigeonhole above—

Wretched, wretched, and yet with good intentions. It is midnight, but since I have slept very well, that is an excuse only to the extent that by day I would have written nothing. The burning electric light, the silent house, the darkness outside, the last waking moments, they give me the right to write even if it be only the most miserable stuff. And this right I use hurriedly. That’s the person I am.

—Franz Kafka, December 24, 1910, from Diaries 1910–1923

Fog and snow

December 23, 2013

I’m in Saratoga Springs till the new year. The fog settling above the snow is mesmerizing, and bodes well for my project about ghosts. It makes me wish I were writing a true ghost story. I suppose I can start it today. Anything can happen here when you’re surrounded by this fog, by artists and writers in various stages of their work, by a grand, generous history.

How will I return to reality?

Some photos so far: