Following in the footsteps of Ray Davis’s posting of Barbellionblog (not to mention Phil Gyford and Pepys’ Diary), Paul Kerschen of Metameat has begun putting Kafka’s diaries online in blog form (German version here). On the About page he says:

Because many entries cannot be precisely dated, I have forgone the usual convention of placing a date above each entry. Kafka’s dates, when noted, appear in the body of the text. The German text is that provided by the Kafka Project. Entries appear in reverse order on the main page, in their original order on the archive pages. Ideally a new entry will appear every day, although longer entries may take more time.

On his own blog he says [scroll down to wed 15 jun 2005]:

So I have decided to do something very presumptuous, and have reached into the recent literary past in order to turn one of its pillars into my ideal blogger. He doesn’t link to things. He doesn’t tell you about his day—or if he does, it’s not an account of his day that would be recognizable to anyone else who was around. He’s not trying to impress anyone. He has no interest in convincing you through argument. Often his entries completely lose any diaristic quality and become a rehearsal space; we get to see him testing out scenes and sentences, sometimes for possible inclusion in longer work, sometimes for their own sake. Its final sentence, which will not appear online for a long time, is Auch du hast Waffen—you too have weapons. That is the overall dramatic arc: the author’s sustained attempt to master a frightening world by rendering it into language. It is white-hot.

Meet Franz Kafka’s blog. It will be there when you need it.

And the top post at the moment reads as follows:

Today, for instance, I was rude three times, once to a conductor, once to someone introduced to me—so there were only 2, but they pain me like a stomachache. Coming from anyone else it would have been rude; how much more so coming from me. So I went outside myself, struggled in the air, in the fog and the irritation that no one had noticed that even with my companions I had committed the rudeness as a rudeness, that I had to commit it, had to carry the true expression, the responsibility; but the worst was when one of my acquaintances took the rudeness not as a sign of character but as character itself, drew my attention to the rudeness and admired it. Why do I not stay within myself? Though now I say to myself: look, the world lets you strike it, the conductor and the man you were introduced to kept calm, the latter even said goodbye as you went off. But that means nothing. You can achieve nothing when you fail yourself, but what else do you miss in your own circle? To this speech I answer only: even I would rather suffer blows inside the circle than strike blows myself outside of it, but where the hell is this circle—for a while, yes, I saw it lying on the earth, as if squirted out with chalk, but now it just hangs like this around me, it doesn’t even hang at all.

(Via wood s lot.)


  1. I never cease to be amazed at the wonderfully creative uses to which the Internet is being put.

  2. happy berber says

    Several months ago I came across this livejournal which appears to be the same idea with Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet, although whoever it was doing it gave up (presumably from lack of interest) after a bit over a month.

  3. Thanks, LH, for the great link.
    This book by Pessoa, one of my favourite authors, is terrific as well. One should only read it in a slow pace, otherwise it is hard to digest.
    I remember that the renowned Dutch translator of Pessoa’s work wrote a couple of polemics about the poor translation of Pessoa’s poems into English by Edwin Honig. Is this criticism known with you?

  4. No, but I’d like to read it.

  5. Brilliant! Thanks for the link!

  6. Another internet project that seems no longer to be with us…

  7. I have replaced the dead links with archived versions, and I am unspeakably impressed that Metameat, which started in 2000, is still with us in the year 2020. Chapeau, Paul!

Speak Your Mind