By Gustav Janouch
Contributor note: creation by way of Francine Prose
Gustav Janouch met Franz Kafka, the distinguished writer of The Metamorphosis, as a seventeen-year-old fledgling poet. As Francine Prose notes in her brilliant preface, “they fell into the behavior of taking lengthy strolls during the urban, strolls on which Kafka turns out to have stated many awesome, incisive, literary, and consistent with- issues to his better half and interlocutor, the teenage Boswell of Prague. Crossing a windswept sq., apropos of whatever or different, Kafka tells Janouch, ‘Life is infinitely nice and profound because the immensity of the celebrities above us. one could in simple terms examine it throughout the slim keyhole of one’s own event. yet via it one perceives a couple of can see. So notably one needs to retain the keyhole clean.’”
They discuss writing (Kafka’s personal, but additionally that of his favourite writers: Poe, Kleist, and Rimbaud, who “transforms vowels into colors”) in addition to expertise, movie, crime, Darwinism, chinese language philosophy, carpentry, insomnia, road fights, Hindu scripture, paintings, suicide, and prayer. “Prayer,” Kafka notes, brings “its limitless radiance to mattress within the frail little cradle of one’s personal existence.”
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Additional info for Conversations with Kafka
How should I play it? I desperately wanted the job, but I didn’t want him to think I was some lapdog who’d come running whenever he whistled. ” I ventured. Graydon was incredulous. “How much money? Who are you, Woodward fucking Bernstein? Are you telling me you won’t come over here for a month unless I pay you a ton of money? I thought you wanted this? Listen, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but Si wants to meet you. ” Oh my God! S. I. Newhouse Jr. wanted to meet me! What had I said? I started back-pedaling furiously.
Graydon narrowed his eyes at me. ” he said. ” He paused. “It’s not nothing— don’t get me wrong—but it’s not that great either. Believe me, there are plenty of people in this town who got to the first room and then didn’t get any further. After a year or so, maybe longer, you’ll discover a secret doorway at the back of the first room that leads to the second room. In time, if you’re lucky, you’ll discover a doorway in the back of the second room that leads to the third. There are seven rooms in total and you’re in the first.
I ventured. Graydon was incredulous. “How much money? Who are you, Woodward fucking Bernstein? Are you telling me you won’t come over here for a month unless I pay you a ton of money? I thought you wanted this? Listen, I shouldn’t be telling you this, but Si wants to meet you. ” Oh my God! S. I. Newhouse Jr. wanted to meet me! What had I said? I started back-pedaling furiously. how to Lose Friends and Alienate People 11 “Well, gosh, yes, that is an honor. I’d love to meet Si. I don’t care what you pay me.