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Kafka in the words of Kafka

“you see, I am a man ridiculous; if I want a little bit, it will be by compassion; my contribution is fear,” writes a young man Kafka to Hedwig Weiler, their ro

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Kafka in the words of Kafka

“you see, I am a man ridiculous; if I want a little bit, it will be by compassion; my contribution is fear,” writes a young man Kafka to Hedwig Weiler, their romance in the summer of 1907. And, however, the apprentice writer who believed that “we are lost like children in the woods” and that it was good that someone trepara to the Moon for their movements, words and desires were not at all comical, and absurd, as long as, yes, “not hear the laughter of the Moon at the observatories”, which had been deployed already at the age of 19, to his friend Oskar Pollak, the courageous bet that was going to change the literature of the TWENTIETH century: “it Is good”, he wrote, “that the consciousness receives extensive wounds, as it becomes more sensitive to each bite. In my opinion, only one should read books that bite and bite us. If the book we are reading does not wake us up from a punch in the chrism, why do we read? How to make us happy, as you write? My god, we could also be happy without books, and, as the case may be, until we could write ourselves the books we do happy. However, we need books that take on us the effect of a disgrace, very painful, like the death of someone that we wanted more than to us, as an exile in the woods away from all human beings, as a suicide; a book must be an axe for clavarla in the frozen sea inside of us. I think so”.

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These are words contained in the first volume of the critical edition of the epistolario full of Kafka (Prague, 1883 - Kierling, 1924), collected and annotated by Hans-Gerd Koch, in a translation by Adan Kovacsics, and Jordi Llovet, Ignacio Echevarría published in the Gutenberg Galaxy. The volume, of 1.257 pages, covering the years 1900-1914, the closing of the work full of the author's Czech, in the absence of the second volume, which will include since the outbreak of the First World War and the publication, in 1915, of Die Verwandlungd, translated here correctly as a transformation and not as the ambiguous metamorphosis. The editors spaniards intended to publish the full correspondence without delay, but the German publishers are reluctant to complete the taking of the final years. Fischer Verlag, after fifteen years of fruitless searching, it still maintains the hope of finding in some hidden file on one of the great treasures of Kafka that still bring to light: the cards lost the last love of the writer, Dora Diamant, which were requisitioned by the Gestapo.

Franz Kafka. Letters, 1900-1914 contains 778 letters, of which 573 were known by the reader of the Spanish language (in earlier work to the critical edition in German), and 145 are unpublished. Among those already published in the cited period are listed the five hundred to the first wedding of the author, Felice Bauer, and written by Grete Bloch (friend of Felice), and to the editors, Max Brod, Ernst Rowolth and Kurt Wolff. The conscientiousness of the publishers has led them to include the details known of 60 cards, lost, postcards, telegrams, autographs, business cards or communications of an official nature, commercial or professional (such as applications or instances aimed at institutions such as the Directorate of Police or the same insurance company for which I worked to apply for permits, promotions or salary increases). The book is complemented by an extensive apparatus of annotation, criticism, a comprehensive chronology, letters received which have been preserved and a who's who of all the correspondents and people mentioned.

Musil wanted to publish ‘The transformation’ Robert Musil, in 1905. adoc-photos

In 1914, Kafka wants to quit her job, to emancipate themselves from their parents, to marry Felice, and marching to Berlin. The 6 of February of 1914 he writes to his friend and editor Max Brod: “you shouldn't have given my address to Musil. What do you want? What can you want to him or who is for me? And what you can get from me?”. Robert Musil had been commissioned to renew Die Neue Rundschau, the magazine of the leading German publishers, S. Fischer, and wanted to take authors like Rilke, or Heinrich Mann. Kafka sends the 77 pages of The transformation, despite the fact that it was committed to the magazine's rival, Die Weissen Blätter, but the editors of Fischer's are too long, and asks for the short one. Kafka, annoying, responds to him in July 1914: “Dear doctor: in this issue makes me not justice, and you, without doubt, either. The story was revised, it remained enough time in the writing as to be able to be studied in all senses, also in the extension, and in the end it was accepted, without conditions or, better said, only on the condition, accepted by me, without more, that would have to wait quite a while until publication. And now that months have passed from the acceptance, it requires me to shorten it by about a third. That is to act in a manner unworthy”.

Musil published in the October issue, an overview of Contemplation and The stoker, Kafka considered the comment to his most valuable to date. The transformation was published in October 1915 in Die Weissen Blätter, with numerous errors.

The volume brings important novelties to the Spanish reader, which are not limited to the ground philological. The arrangement of the letters by chronology, and not by correspondents, allows you to track the day-to-day Kafka of the way of a biography, epistolary, without the interference of an interpreter, and attend to the evolution of their writing, from their ambivalent relationship with Goethe (the literary canon) to his need and love for the demons of the literature from his stormy relationship with Felice Bauer, which makes it enter its connection with life, a writing fluid and the perspective of the other, something that is at the root of such works as The process or The sentence.

you can Also find literary texts, as the first story that has come down to us (“The complex story of the shy, lanky and the insincere of heart”) and various apologists and short stories, as the the man who knew not how to laugh or dance, and that he always carried a mysterious locked Casinoslot box that is not taught to anyone until, at his death, he discovered its content (“Two teeth”) or the crazy and the wise man that he knew he was wise: “you can Not take the sun to the shade. I don't think that I should be guilty of your happiness. At most of the following way: a wise man whose wisdom was hiding before he came up with a crazy, and chatted a while with him on issues in appearance remote. After the conclusion of the conversation, when the crazy is about to return home —he lived in a loft, the other throws to the neck, kisses him and exclaims: ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you’. Why? So great was the madness of mad that the sage was made evident to his own wisdom”.

The readings (German writers, but also Flaubert and biographies to look for how the great composers found their place in the world); the literary cravings, your desire to leave Prague, to learn Spanish and go to Spain, South america, or Berlin; his travels and excursions; the insulation with their parents; the suffocation she feels for her work in the insurance undertaking or in the asbestos factory, which he founded with his brother-in-law, or the eternal doubt that paralyzes you: “Other people”, he wrote to Hedwig, “just decide on a handful of occasions and enjoy after your decision in the long interval until the next. I, instead, I decide without ceasing, as many times as a boxer, with the difference that then is not boxing, of course.”

In a letter transmitted to Pollak how the desktop bourgeois home of his parents in which he behaves like an animal censor: “I Was sitting at my beautiful desk. You don't know it. How you were going to meet him. It turns out that it is a desktop convictions deeply bourgeois, whose role is to educate. Has both terrifying tips of wood there where it puts the knees the reporter. And now pay attention. When one sits with quiet and caution and write something profoundly bourgeois, is taste. But oh if you shake and your body trembles a little, because the tips will stick unfailingly in the knees, and how to hurt. I could show you the bruises”.

The life of Kafka can be followed almost to the minute. Says movies with the waitresses, working in the tasks in the field during their vacation, going to the theatre, writes elaborate and detailed argument books to their bosses to justify their requests for salary increases, complains of his stomach problems and of your diet..., but, above all, reads and writes, and autoanaliza with a vengeance. He says that he has read few books of Freud —“it Is as big as a vacuum”— and many of his followers; he confesses that collapses to the opacities, which lacks of full organisational talent, which is not of those men who carry things out at any price or that “I'm not already in this world, but going around and around in the lobby of the hell”, as “the consciousness of guilt does not imply for me an aid, a solution; not, I just have a consciousness of guilt because it is the most beautiful form of remorse”.

On one of the cards that Frank Kafka sent to Robert-Musil to the editors of the magazine 'Die Neue Rundschau'.

Kafka frequents prostitutes, some of them very old, or filtrea with girls: “A”, it says to Max Brod, “it's called Agathe; the other, Hedwig. Agathe is very ugly and Hedwig as well. H. is short and fat, his cheeks are painted without boundaries or interruption, to its large upper incisors do not allow your mouth to close, nor that the lower jaw is small; it is very short-sighted, and not only to cause the nice gesture that turns the "quevedos" on the nose; this night I dreamt of your legs thick and short; for such twists and turns I recognize the beauty of a girl and I fall in love”. Even so, he writes: “What little good in the meeting epistolary; it is as if two people separated by a lake chapotearan in the banks. Because of the many slopes of the letters has slipped the pen and this is over, it's cold and I have to go to my bed empty”.

In the prologue, Jordi Llovet devotes special attention to the sentimental relations of Kafka (who wrote “The intercourse, the punishment of the joy of being together”), especially with Felice Bauer. They met in Prague, in the house of the parents of his friend Max Brod, August 13, 1912. Not became to see until seven months later. From 20 September, Kafka sent a flood of letters, more to himself than to seduce her, according to Llovet, who reconstructs the sexual life of Kafka, linked with the dictation censor of his father and its reflection in the plays that he wrote at the time, and would have a key to shed light on the fundamental story Before the law (1919). Kafka is subjected to the torture of not being able to live neither with her nor without her. and asks her in marriage as if to ask it were “a criminal act”. “I,” he writes in 1913 the father of Felice, “I have blinded you to your daughter with my writing.” And transmits a self-portrait heartbreaking: “Be that as it may, you have the following in mind, which is the essential thing: my whole being is focused on the literature, and up to 30 years, I have maintained this course to the letter; if you ever neglect, I'll live. This leads to everything I am and how I am and I am not. I am taciturn, unsociable, morose, selfish, a hypochondriac and really sickly. How has living your daughter with a man that has left all distraction in order to conserve the energy fair, to devote himself exclusively to literature?”.

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