Kafka

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fka:: Franz Kafka . Diaries 1910

The onlookers go rigid when the train goes past.

"If he should forever ahsk me." The ah, released from the sentence, flew off like a ball on the meadow.

His gravity is the death of me. His head in its collar, his hair arranged immovably on his skull, the muscles of his jowels below, tensed in their places—

Are the woods still there? The woods were still almost there. But hardly had my glance gone ten steps farther when I left off, again caught up in the tedious conversation.

In the dark woods, on the sodden ground, I found my way only by the whiteness of his collar.

In a dream I asked the dancer Eduardova to dance the Czardas just one time more. She had a broad streak of shadow or light across the middle of her face between the lower part of her forehead and the cleft of her chin. Just then someone with the loathsome gestures of an unconscious intriguer approached to tell her the train was leaving immediately. The manner in which she listened to this announcement made it terribly clear to me that she would not dance again. "I am a wicked, evil woman, am I not?" she said. "Oh, no," I said, "not that," and turned away aimlessly.

Before that I had questioned her about the many flowers that were stuck into her girdle. "They are from all the princes of Europe," said she. I pondered as to what this might mean— that all those fresh flowers stuck in her girdle had been presented to the dancer Eduardova by all the princes of Europe.

The dancer Eduardova, a lover of music, travels in the tram, as everywhere else, in the company of two vigorous violinists whom she makes play often. For there is no known reason why one should not play in the tram if the playing is good, pleasing to the fellow passengers, and costs nothing; i.e., if the hat is not passed round afterwards. Of course, at first it is a little surprising and for a short while everybody finds it improper. But at full speed, in a strong breeze and on a silent street, it sounds quite nice.

The dancer Eduardova is not as pretty in the open air as on the stage. Her faded color, her cheekbones which draw her skin so taut that there is scarcely a trace of motion in her face and a real face is no longer possible, the large nose, which rises as though out of a cavity, with which one can take no liberties—such as testing the hardness of the point or taking it gently by the bridge and pulling it back and forth while one says, "But now you come along." The large figure with the high waist in skirts with too many pleats—whom can that please? —she looks like one of my aunts, an elderly lady; many elderly aunts of many people look like that. In the open air Eduardova really has nothing to compensate for these disadvantages, moreover, aside from her very good feet; there is actually nothing that would give occasion for enthusiasm, astonishment, or even for respect. And so I have actually seen Eduardova very often treated with a degree of indifference that even gentlemen, who were otherwise very adroit, very correct, could not conceal, although they naturally made every effort to do so in

the presence of so famous a dancer as Eduardova still was.

The auricle of my ear felt fresh, rough, cool, succulent as a leaf, to the touch.

I write this very decidedly out of despair over my body and over a future with this body. When despair shows itself so definitely, is so tied to its object, so pent up, as in a soldier who covers a retreat and thus lets himself be torn to pieces, then it is not true despair. True despair overreaches its goal immediately and always, (at this comma it became clear that only the first sentence was correct.) Do you despair? Yes? You despair? You run away? You want to hide?

I passed by the brothel as though past the house of a beloved.

Writers speak a stench.

The seamstresses in the downpour of rain.

Finally, after five months of my life during which I could write nothing that would have...
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