Stars, hide your fires; Let not light see my black and deep desires.
It seems to me that the desire to make art produces an ongoing experience of longing, a restlessness sometimes, but not inevitably, played out romantically, or sexually. Always there seems something ahead, the next poem or story, visible, at least, apprehensible, but unreachable. To perceive it at all is to be haunted by it; some sound, some tone, becomes a torment – the poem embodying that sound seems to exist somewhere already finished. It’s like a lighthouse, except that, as one swims towards it, it backs away.
Book Ninja in the action! Ninja will learn you to read ;-)
Franz Kafka et al. to Kurt Wolff, 1913:
Franz Kafka is often pictured as a solitary figure, brooding alone in his room. The postcard above is evidence of Kafka’s social side. It was sent on March 25, 1913 from Charlottenburg, a district of Berlin, where Kafka was meeting with a group of fellow authors who shared the same publisher. The writers decided to send a group postcard to their publisher Kurt Wolff. Kafka writes “Best greetings from a plenary session of authors of your house. Otto Pick, Albert Ehrenstein, Carl Ehrenstein. Dear Herr Wolff: Pay no attention to what Werfel tells you! He does not know a word of the story. As soon as I have a clean copy made, I will of course be glad to send it to you. Sincerely, F. Kafka.” At the bottom, in another hand, is written “Cordial greetings from Paul Zech,” and on the front of the postcard is a drawing by Else Lasker-Schuler with the name “Abigail Basileus III” next to it. The “Werfel” Kafka refers to is the Austrian-Bohemian writer Franz Werfel, who had told Wolff about Kafka’s unpublished novella, The Metamorphosis. Wolff had expressed interest in seeing “the bug story.” He published it two years later, in 1915.
This morning there’s snow everywhere. We remark on it.
You tell me you didn’t sleep well. I say
I didn’t either. You had a terrible night. “Me too.”
We’re extraordinarily calm and tender with each other
as if sensing the other’s rickety state of mind.
As if we knew what the other was feeling. We don’t,
of course. We never do. No matter.
It’s the tenderness I care about. That’s the gift
this morning that moves and holds me.
Same as every morning.
No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Wolfenbüttel is famous for its Herzog August Bibliothek (Library), located on Lessingplatz. This large building houses over 900,000 books and volumes of various ages and covering all topics. 350,000 of these date from the 15th to 18th centuries. It is most notable, however, for containing the world’s most valuable book – Heinrich der Löwe’s Gospel Book. This was created between 1174 and 1189. The library has existed in various forms since the Middle Ages.
Lectrice La - Moon Jong Hyeok