Franz Kafka – Diaries (Edited by Max Brod) – 1948 (1988) [Anthony Russo]

The Departure

I ordered my horse to be brought from the stables.  The servant did not understand my orders.  So I went to the stables myself, saddled my horse, and mounted.  In the distance I heard the sound of a trumpet, and I asked the servant what it meant.  He knew nothing and had heard nothing.  At the gate he stopped me and asked:  “Where is the master going?”

“I don’t know,” I said, “just out of here, just out of here.
Out of here, nothing else, it’s the only way I can reach my goal.”

“So you know your goal?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied, “I’ve just told you.  Out of here – that’s my goal.”

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A Little Fable

“Alas,” said the mouse, “the world is growing smaller every day.  At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when at last I saw walls far away to the right and left, but these walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into.”

“You only need to change your direction,” said the cat, and at it up.

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The Trees

For we are like tree trunks in the snow.  In appearance they lie sleekly and a little push should be enough to set them rolling.

No, it can’t be done, for they are firmly wedded to the ground.

But see, even that is only appearance.

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Shyness, modesty, timidity are accounted noble and good
because they offer little resistance to other people’s aggressive impulses.

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(Above excerpts from “Franz Kafka – The Complete Stories”, Edited by Nahum N. Glazer, Translated by Willa and Edwin Muir, Schocken Books, New York, 1971.)

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