Evidently Kafka needed each of his aphorisms to have a page of its own, and he accomplished this by taking thin, pale sheets of onionskin paper and cutting them into fours. Kafka’s original collection has no title, and he kept these small pages loose, but numbered each of them. His small writings vary in length and topic. 93, for example, is simply, “No psychology ever again!” And while Kafka kept this piece of writing with the others, he crossed it out (A handful of them were crossed out and Michael Hofmann puts an asterisk after the entries that Kafka had put a line though). In contrast to 93, 104 is a five paragraph discourse of Kafka’s varying beliefs on free will: “…this is the triple nature of free will, but being simultaneous, it is also single, and is in fact so utterly singe that it has no room for a will at all, whether free or unfree.” I enjoy reflecting on the content of his aphorisms, but I also like knowing the physical way in which they were created. I was unable to find any images of the originals online (or in any of the Kafka books I’ve seen), so if anyone comes across some, please feel free to share.
The End... For NowThis takes us to the end of this series for now, although if I come across more tales in this vein, I may have the urge to run a second series. However, before I go, I thought it might be fun to share what I’ve been using to write my own fiction recently - although perhaps more fun for me than for you.
During my daily travels I carry a small notebook and a pen in my pocket at all times (this has the unfortunate side effect of leading to inkstained pants) so that I can write down any passing idea or outline in the moment it comes to me, and it can also lead to me writing complete stories or excerpts of novels I am working in the small notebook.
The Physical Writing Process: Writing in the Bathtub - The Duality of Dalton Trumbo as Screenwriter and Novelist
The Physical Writing Process: Maxine Hong Kingston - From Drawings to Words Across a Multitude of Drafts