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.”


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.


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.


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


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