I have got a lifelong devotion to Kafka, which can be traced back in my blog (https://symbolreader.net/2013/07/16/i-love-you-my-secret-raven/ and https://symbolreader.net/2014/05/14/kafkas-sirens/). I am very happy to reblog this well written review. The question remains: what colour were Kafka’s eyes? They were as mysterious and multiple shaded as his work. The new book casts a lot of light (literally) on the man wrongly presumed to be nothing but morose.
“Four people described Kafka’s eyes as ‘dark,’ four as ‘gray,’ three as ‘blue,’ and three as ‘brown.’ Kafka’s passport had them as ‘dark blue-gray.’ I’m personally inclined to trust the testimony of Kafka’s girlfriend, Dora. She described them as ‘shy, brown,’ which may be its very own shade.”
“Now I’ve taken a closer look at my desk and realized that nothing good can be produced on it. There’s so much lying around here, it creates disorder without regularity, and with none of that agreeableness of disorderly things that otherwise makes every disorder bearable.” (Find #29 Kafka’s Desk)
I have never understood those who feel inclined to disparage Franz Kafka. It should be sufficient to admit that a writer, especially one whose work has entertained and inspired so many and has clearly withstood the test of time, is simply not one who speaks to you. Admit, if you like, that you just don’t “get it”. But why, like Joseph Epstein in a 2013 Atlantic Monthly column, declare that Kaka’s apparent joyless, dark vision of the world reflects a personal defect that undermines his worth and proclaim: “Great writers are impressed by the mysteries of life; poor Franz Kafka…
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