Franz Kafka - The Blue Octavo Notebooks () - Google Docs - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. A strange, profound, beautiful. Kafka - The Blue Octavo Notebooks - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online. “Among other things in Kafka's posthumous papers there were eight little blue octavo notebooks of the kind we used to call 'vocabulary.
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The Blue Octavo Notebooks is a series of eight notebooks written by Franz Kafka from late . Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. These diaries cover the years to , the year before Kafka's death at the age of forty. They provide a penetrating look into life in Prague and into Kafka's. When Kafka's literary executor, Max Brod, published the diaries in , he omitted "The Blue Octavo Notebooks" have thus remained little known and yet are.
This is a place where I never was before: here breathing is different, and more dazzling than the sun is the radiance of a star beside it. Evil is whatever distracts. The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means the impossibility of crows.
Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues. Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, though both the indestructible element and the trust may remain permanently hidden from him.
One of the ways in which the hiddenness can express itself is through faith in a personal god. Of his own volition, like a fist he turned and shunned the world. The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with out life gives it the appearance of being infinite. Art flies around truth, but with the definite intention of not getting burnt. Its capacity lies in finding in the dark void a place where the beam of light can be intensely caught, without this having been perceptible before.
The suicide is the prisoner who sees a gallows being erected in the prison yard, mistakenly thinks it is the one intended for him, breaks out of his cell in the night, and goes down and hangs himself.
With whatever weapons each of us had snatched up, in disorder, each with an arm round his comrade, yelling our battle cry of "Kahira Kahira," we trotted in long columns through the marshes towards the city. At the southern gate all we found now were corpses and yellow smoke, billowing over the ground and hiding everything from sight. But we did not want merely to be the rear guard and at once turned into narrow side streets that had hitherto remained unscathed by the battle.
The door of the first house splintered under my ax, and so wildly did we push into the hall that at first we were churning around each other in confusion. An old man came towards us out of a long empty passage. A strange old manhe had wings. Wide, outspread wings, the tips taller than himself. Leave home? Leave the dead and the gods? Dread of not-night. October Senselessness too strong a word of the separation of what is one's own and what is extraneous in the spiritual battle.
All science is methodology with regard to the Absolute. Therefore, there need be no fear of the  unequivocally methodological. It is a husk, but not more than everything except the One.
We are all fighting a battle. If, attacked by the ultimate question, I reach out behind me for weapons, I cannot choose which of those weapons I will have, and even if I could choose, I should be bound to choose some that don't belong to me, for we all have only one store of weapons.
I cannot fight a battle all of my own; if for once I believe I am independent, if for once I see nobody around me, it soon turns out that as a consequence of the general constellation, which is not immediately or even not at all intelligible to me, I have had to take this post over. This, of course, does not exclude the fact that there is a cavalry spearhead, stragglers, snipers, and all the usual and abnormal items of warfare, but there is no one who fights an independent battle.
Yes, but also a necessary encouragement, and one in accordance with the truth. I digress. The true way is along a rope that is not spanned high in the air, but only just above the ground. It seems intended more to cause stumbling than to be walked along.
Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency. The orgy while reading the story in Der Jude. Like a squirrel in its cage. Bliss of movement. Desperation about constriction, craziness of endurance, feeling of misery confronted with the repose of what is external. All this both simultaneously and alternatingly, still in the filth of the end.
A sunray of bliss. Only fragments of a totality. Howare you going even to touch the greatest task, how are you going even to sense its nearness, even dream its existence, even plead for its dream, dare to learn the letters of the plea, if you cannot collect yourself in such a way that, when the decisive moment comes, you hold the totality of yourself collected in your hand like a stone to be thrown, a knife for the kill?
However: there is no need to spit on one's hands before clasping them. Is it possible to think something unconsoling? Or, rather, something unconsoling without the breath of consolation? A way out would seem to lie in the fact that recognition as such is consolation. And so one might well think: You must put yourself aside, and yet one might maintain oneself, without falsifying this recognition, by the consciousness of having recognized it. That, then, really means having pulled oneself out of the swamp by one's own pigtail.
What is ridiculous in the physical world is possible in the spiritual world. There there is no law of gravity the angels do not fly, they have not overcome any force of gravity, it is only we observers in the terrestrial world who cannot imagine it in any better way than that , which is, of course, beyond our power of conception, or at any rate conceivable only on a very high level.
How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of. At least descriptive psychology is probably, taken as a whole, a form of anthropomorphism, a nibbling at our own limits. The inner world can only be experienced, not described.
Psychology is the description of the reflection of the  terrestrial world in the heavenly plane, or, more correctly, the description of a reflection such as we, soaked as we are in our terrestrial nature, imagine it, for no reflection actually occurs, only we see earth wherever we turn.
Psychology is impatience. All human errors are impatience, the premature breaking off of what is methodical, an apparent fencing in of the apparent thing. Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza. In bed.
There are two main human sins from which all the others derive: impatience and indolence. It was because of impatience that they were expelled from Paradise; it is because of indolence that they do not return. Yet perhaps there is only one major sin: impatience. Because of impatience they were expelled, because of impatience they do not return.
Seen with the terrestrially sullied eye, we are in the situation of travelers in a train that has met with an accident in a tunnel, and this at a place where the light of the beginning can no longer be seen, and the light of the end is so very small a glimmer that the gaze must continually search for it and is always losing it again, and, furthermore, both the beginning and the end are not even certainties.
Round about us, however, in the confusion of our senses, or in the supersensitiveness of our senses, we have nothing but monstrosities and a kaleidoscopic play of things that is either delightful or exhausting according to the mood and injury of each individual.
What shall I do? Many shades of the departed are occupied solely in licking at the waves of the river of death because it flows from our direction and still has the salty taste of our seas. Then the river rears back in disgust, the current flows the opposite way and brings the dead drifting back into life.
But they are happy, sing songs of thanksgiving, and stroke the indignant waters. Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.
The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all things worthless are in the right, for nothing has yet happened. The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler. From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the  ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true.
One of the most effective means of seduction that Evil has is the challenge to struggle.
It is like the struggle with women, which ends in bed. A married man's true deviations from the path of virtue are, rightly understood, never gay. In the sunshine. The voices of the world becoming quieter and fewer. A has an important business deal to conclude with B, who lives in H. He goes to H to confer about it, gets there and back in ten minutes each way, and at home boasts of this particular quickness. The next day he goes to H again, this time for the final settlement of the deal.
Since this is likely to take several hours, A leaves very early in the morning. But although all the attendant circumstances, at least in A's opinion, are exactly the same as on the previous day, this time it takes him! When he arrives there at evening, very tired, he is told that B, annoyed at A's failure ' to arrive, left half an hour ago for A's village and that they really ought to have met on the way.
A is advised to wait. But A, anxious about the deal, at once takes his departure and hurries home.
This time, without paying any particular attention to the fact, he covers the distance in no more than an instant.
At home he discovers that B had already come  in the morning, straight after A had left, indeed, he is told that B met himon the doorstep and reminded him about the deal, but that he, A, said he had no time, was in a hurry, must go.
In spite of A's incomprehensible behavior, however, B A is told stayed there, waiting for A. True, he had often asked whether A was not yet back, but he was still upstairs in A's room. Happy at still being able to see B and explain everything to him, A runs upstairs. He is almost at the top when he stumbles, strains a tendon, and, almost fainting with pain, incapable even of screaming, only whimpering there in the dark, he hears Bhe is not sure whether at a great distance or somewhere quite close to himstamp downstairs in a fury and disappear once and for all.
The Diabolical sometimes assumes the aspect of the Good, or even embodies itself completely in its form. If this remains concealed from me, I amof course defeated, for this Good is more tempting than the genuine Good.
But what if it does not remain concealed from me? What if a horde of devils, like beaters on a battle, drive me straight into the Good? What if I, an object of disgust, am rolled, stung, thrust into the Good by pin points pricking me all over? What if the visible claws of the Good reach out for me? I fall back a step and retreat, softly and sadly, into Evil, which has been behind me all the time waiting for my decision.
Evil has ways of surprising one. Suddenly it turns round and says: "You have misunderstood me," and perhaps it Ideally is so. Evil transforms itself into your own lips, lets itself be gnawed at by your teeth, and with these new lipsno former ones fitted more smoothly to your gumsto your own amazement you utter the words of goodness. The Truth About Sancho Panza SANCHO PANZA, who, incidentally, never boasted of it, in the course of the years, by means of providing a large number of romances of chivalry and banditry to while away the evening and night hours, succeeded in diverting the attentions of his devil, to whom he later gave the game Don Quixote, from himself to such an extent that this devil then in unbridled fashion performed the craziest deeds, which however, for lack of a predetermined object, which should, of course, have been Sancho Panza, did nobody any harm.
Sancho Panza, a free man, tranquilly, and perhaps out of a certain sense of responsibility, followed Don Quixote on his travels and had much and profitable entertainment from this to the end of his days. Five o'clock in the morning. One of the most important quixotic acts, more obtrusive than fighting the windmill, is: suicide.
The dead  Don Quixote wants to kill the dead Don Quixote; in order to kill, however, he needs a place that is alive, and this he searches for with his sword, both ceaselessly and in vain. Engaged in this occupation the two dead men, inextricably interlocked and positively bouncing with life, go somersaulting away down the ages.
Morning in bed. A is very puffed up, he thinks he is far advanced in goodness since, obviously as an object that is ever seductive, he feels himself exposed to ever more temptations from directions hitherto unknown to him.
Then I got up, still far from being conscious ofthepresent,andwiththefeelingthatImustthrustaside various people who were in my way, made the necessary gestures, andsoatlastreachedtheopenwindow.
Sometimes it happens, the reasons being often scarcely imaginable, that the greatest bullfighter chooses as the place where he willfight some decayed arena in a remote little town whosenametheMadrid public has scarcely heard of. An arena that has been neglected for centuries, here overgrown with grass, a place where children play, there hot with bare stones, a place where snakes and lizards bask.
The tops of the walls long ago carried away, a quarry for all the houses roundabout. Nowonlyalittlecauldronthatwillseatscarcely five hundred people. No annex building, aboveallnostables,butthe worst thing of all is that the railway line has not yet been extended so far and there are three hours to travel by cart, seven hours to coveronfoot,fromtheneareststation. My two hands began a fight. They slammed the book I had been reading and thrust it aside so that it should not be in the way.
Me theysaluted,andappointedmereferee. Andaninstantlatertheyhad locked fingers with each other and were already rushing away over the edge of the table, now to the right, now to the left, according to which of them was bringing most pressure to bear on the other. I never turned my gaze from them.
If they are my hands, I must refereefairly,otherwiseIshallbringdownonmyselftheagoniesofa wrong decision. But  my function is not easy, in the darkness between the palms of the hands various holds are brought intoplay thatImustnotletpassunnoticed,andsoIpressmychinonthetable and now nothing escapes me. All my life long I havemadeafavorite of the right, without meaning the left any harm. If the left had ever said anything, indulgent and just as I am, Ishouldatoncehaveputa stop to the abuse.