Monday, June 2, 2008

Monday's Philosophy


"You can hold back from the suffering of the world, you have free permission to do so, and it is in accordance with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided."  --Franz Kafka


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am unable to get my head around this quote. I feel like I'm suffering as I read it. Is that a good thing?

Anonymous said...

I held bak once. Ugh. I don't know how the Kisnoshi people can eat that stuff.
Kafka sure made poor Felice (his fiancee) suffer. So maybe we're meant to suffer too, Anon.

Anonymous said...

Spoken like someone who never had to suffer financially. I bet he would have felt differntly had he been around for the Holocaust like his siblings.

Anonymous said...

How does having to "suffer financially" pertain to the two previous comments?
I don't even know if you're responding to the first or second anon (I'm the second).
Kafka put Felice through an emotional wringer, and -- rich or poor -- that's not a decent thing to do. (Though he had deep problems, so any woman who gets mixed up with such a conflicted person should expect rough going; but I read their letters, and Kafka doesn't come across looking good.)
Kafka died long before the Holocaust. So how does that play into this?
Kafka's sentence is rather torturous.
How do you know that I (or the other anon) haven't suffered financially or that we're not Jewish? (I have, and I am.)
Actually, Kafka had health problems (fraility, insomnia; and of course, the fatal consumption). He had to hold down a job, which left him with little time or energy to write. Many other authors knew real poverty; he merely had financial worries.
I respect how he persisted in his writing, which was his life.
I think Kafka was did great things; I particularly like the three novels; Amerika is overlooked, but it's a wonderful romp. The Castle is a burrowing into sexuality.
The second spelling of "back" in the original quote was "bak." I see that WR corrected it. I was just trying to be a bit humorous; I make typos all the time, and some are funny.
Writers are too combative. Both the successful ones and the unsuccessful.

Anonymous said...

See, I just wrote (above) "Kafka was did great things." And you, anon, misspelled "differently."

Anonymous said...

Why so self-righteous about Kafka's supposed non-suffering? Jesus.

Let me get this straight. You wish Kafka had had to go through the Holocaust?

Yeah, that might've "shown" him.

You're a jerk, aren't you, self-righteous, Kafka-hating anon above?

Writer, Rejected said...

Don't go calling Jesus a jerk on my blog. We have enough enemies to contend with.

Seriously, no name calling. Even (especially) in a high-brow discussion about Kafka.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

You can't communicate with irrational people.
They see self-righteousness and a hate-driven wish for Kafka to have gone through the Holocaust (I suppose Irrational didn't know that he hadn't). Based on nothing I wrote. Nothing!
Then some name-calling.
I'm not Jesus, WR. Irrational merely used that name in disgust.
I'm out of this "high-brow discussion."

Anonymous said...

Summertime blues on LROD?

Anonymous said...

It's easy to talk about nobility in suffering when you don't actually have to go through it. Would Kafka recommend one experience the Holocaust instead of holding back and fleeing?

Anonymous said...

Why do you people keep making this about the Holocaust? How is anyone's not having gone through the Holocaust a test of anything in anyone, let alone a test of Kafka's supposed fortitude or lack thereof? Jesus.

To W,R: This is not a discussion. It's a free-for-all. And namecalling's not the worst thing that can happen in a discussion, the way I see it. The worst thing might be that people might stop being rational, and then later go on to accuse those who object to their objectionable, irrational thinking of being irrational themselves. That, ma'am, is what's known as a clusterfuck.