Kafka’s diary vs my diary

Journalling isn’t so much a past-time or hobby, but a necessity to stop my head exploding. I have a journal where I write about creative writing, daily plans and notes of what I’m going to do in my own work, and also a personal crap-tacular blah of thoughts notebook that mean nothing. Except maybe to a therapist.

I love Kafka. I’m reading his diary, full of deep insights, and thinking about what a romantically sad, tragic, and awkward man he was. It also makes me look at my own journal, and while I know Kafka did not want his journal published, and that was ignored, it seems I don’t have that worry. Because as I said, crap-tacular.

Kafka –

Life’s splendour forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come.

Me –

I can’t stand working with Jeannie. Her nasal hair looks so sharp and spiky. If she wiped a cotton wool pad on her face bits would come off and hang there. Nasal cobwebs. I hope my nose hair doesn’t do that when menopause kicks in.

Kafka –

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. When I am wilfully alone, a slight ordering of my interior begins to take place and I need nothing more.

Me –

Stop buying biscuits! If you don’t buy them, you can’t eat them. And then your butt won’t end up the size of Gibraltar. And monkeys won’t come and live on your butt and steal the cameras of tourists. Gibraltar monkeys are the only monkeys in Europe. And a bit scary. Fact.

Kafka –

Nervous states of the worst sort control me without pause. Everything that is not literature bores me and I hate it. I lack all aptitude for family life except, at best, as an observer. I have no family feeling and visitors make me almost feel as though I were maliciously being attacked

Me –

Argh! I accidentally bought dental floss instead of tape. Tape is so much nicer. Floss is horrible and rough and like garden twine in my mouth. Today has sucked.

For all that reading my own stupid words back at myself makes me cringe, I can sooth that horror by loving the last quote there of Kafka’s, and feeling our miserable connection. I too feel like visitors, especially over-night ones, are so awful it’s like being maliciously attacked. Even if I love them and they are blood relations. Actually, especially if I love them and they are blood relations.

I love my copy of his diary, it’s apparently a first edition from 1948, and has cool sketches.

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