Tuesday, January 3, 2017

201701030625 passing through

Franz Kafka too, born and citizen of Prague, Bohemia, now the Czech Republic, in the ending 19th and early 20th century the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Kafka was a German-speaking Jew when German was the language of the educated. A tormented soul, not as tormented as Doestoevsky (“The sky was horribly dark, but one could distinctly see tattered clouds, and between them fathomless black patches. Suddenly I noticed in one of these patches a star, and began watching it intently. That was because that star had given me an idea: I decided to kill myself that night”), but a tormented soul in his relationship with his father, in his sexual obsessions, in his relationships with women, tormented by his perverse self-image, died in 1924 of tuberculosis at age 40. His father (d.1941) outlived him, and sisters died in the German Holocaust, the most evil period of western civilization so far, no but wait, humans are still hopelessly filled with hatred of each other and there is history yet to be written. Kafka’s short stories I’ve read so far are borderline present and absent, here and other, real and disordered. I’ll choose a novel and also see if a movie or two can be called up free online.

See this sabbatical is not meant to be productive other than to my mental peace, but distracting, carrying me far away and gone. Where’s good to read: 7H chair-by-sea. 7H porch. An AmTrak window seat to nowhere, sole interruption being FoodNazi from the diner sticking head in room and asking, “What time do you want your dinner reservation?” 

“What choices are there?” 

“Anytime five o’clock to eight o’clock.” 

“Okay, five o’clock.” 

“No. Not five o’clock, all full.” 

Six o’clock then.” 

“No. Can’t be six, six is filled.” 

“Okay, six-thirty.” 

“No. Six-thirty is filled.” 

“Well, gdammitalltohell, what time is available then, just assign us a time, we don’t care.”

"Not allowed to assign your time, you have to chose your own time." 

Barring trainwreck, officious petty authority and control is the only negative of AmTrak. Who wants service, flash a ten dollar bill. Oh, and pulling over to wait several hours on a side track for a freight train to click click click through, although waiting is as good reading time as moving, and besides who’s in a hurry, a rhetorical question or take the bus. Or plane.

First morning’s breakfast 0900 after long walk: extra thin ww toast, slab of butter, glob of chunky natural peanut butter no sugar, glass ice water, contemplate Florida winter morning 81.5°F 96%, hazy, chance of rain around noon, Malinda coming at lunch for collards, hoppin’ John, mom’s usual meatloaf, don't mess with the recipe. Glass of a lovely Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon. 

So Franz and Doestoevsky, George too, George MacDonald’s Lilith seems kin to Lewis and Narnia, in The Magician’s Nephew, remembering the pools, getting there and back home, and the inescapable witch clutching the mysterious London lamppost that at first seems after, but actually was before, and has a Genesis history, that grew in the Narnian forest between the wardrobe and the castle of Cair Paravel. Having begun and read several chapters, I intend not to finish Lilith but do see where Lewis is coming from. Well, I may read a little more. Lilith, the terrifying night hag screeching in the wilderness, in Jewish lore, Adam's first wife.

Three or four strange novels started. I’ll stick with as long as interest holds, no promises, old classic foreign novels can be deadly long once one figures out the story, plot and outcome right through to the conclusion. 

Monday watched Orson Welles film The Trial based on Kafka’s novel same title: anxiety dream, worst possible anxiety dream, two hours zero minutes of nightmare. Though Kafka didn’t finish his story, he did write the last chapter, including the final scene which Welles should have left alone: Welles’ ending was pointlessly stupid. But the rest of his film was Kafka’s incredible anxiety nightmare. Not lately, but I've dreamed those.

Parasailor below my 7H Bay window Monday, quite a skilled fellow. Should have got a pic.

Florida Iowa good. FSU Michigan bad. 

Monday morning: going vertical at the Holy P

Agony of Monday evening: waiting for her text, “I’m home.” Can’t stand it. She left Atlanta about four, drove through tornado watches, clocked in home at ten. How to turn a Papa to dust.

online slogan 
Don’t Be Mean In Seventeen

DThos+ in stoppage time

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