But deep down she said to herself, Franz maybe strong, but his strength is directed outward; when it comes to the people he lives with, the people he's loves, he's weak. Franz's weakness is called goodness. Franz would never give Sabina orders. He would never command her, as Tomas had, to lay the mirror on the floor and walk back and forth on it naked. Not that he lacks sensuality; he simply lacks the strength to give orders. There are things that can be accomplished only by violence. Physical love is unthinkable without violence.
The day after his father left, Franz and his mother went into town together, and as they left home Franz noticed that her shoes did not match. He was in a quandary: he wanted to point out the mistake, but was afraid he would hurt her. So, during the two hours they spent walking through the city together he kept his eyes focused on her feet. It was then he had his first inkling of what it means to suffer.
In 1914, Franz Ferdinand, the Austrian imperial heir, was shot and killed by a Serbian nationalist in Sarajevo. Do you know the motive behind the act? It was in retaliation for the subjugation of the Sebs in Austria. It was not.Franz Ferdinand had stated his intention to introduce reforms favorable to the Serbs in his empire. Had he survived to ascend the throne, he would have made a revolution unnecessary. In plain terms, he was killed because he was going to give the rebels what they were shouting for. They needed a despot in the palace in order to seize it. What's good for reform is bad for the reformers
Loren D. Estleman
I was just interested in directing. So I just kept having a go at trying to write little scripts and get things together, and my wife just had a slip of the tongue and said, "Franz Kafka's It's A Wonderful Life" when she meant to say "Frank Capra's." There it is right there. That's a gag that we could make into something.
When I encountered these haunting words from Franz Kafka, I realized exactly why this light sermon about the search for God had struck such a nerve: "Everyday life is the greatest detective story ever written. Every second, without noticing, we pass by thousands of corpses and crimes. That's the routine of our lives.
The Society of North American Magic Realists welcomes its newest, most dazzling member, Louis Maistros. His debut novel is a thing of wonder, unlike anything in our literature. It startles. It stuns. It stupefies. No novel since CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES has done such justice to New Orleans. If Franz Kafka had been able to write like Peter Straub, this might have been the result.
The ideas and practices of Franz Anton Mesmer, an 18th-century Australian healer, had spread to the United States and, by the 1840s, held the country in thrall. Mesmer proposed that everything in the universe, including the human body, was governed by a 'magnetic fluid' that could become imbalanced, causing illness.
When I wrote 'Your Republic Is Calling You,' it was Franz Kafka's writing that I had most in mind, and James Joyce's 'Ulysses.' Entirely out of the blue, Kafka's characters receive an order to go somewhere, and when they try to comply, they never quite manage it. Ki-yong in 'Your Republic Is Calling You' is precisely that sort of character.
I came down successfully through Picasso and Braque, down through Pollock, I guess, but I began to stop at Franz Kline and the Abstractionists. I like their design, brilliant design, marvelous color layers. But I don't find any human content there. I'm from an old school, and painting has to have human content for me.
While people are fairly young and the musical composition of their lives is still in its opening bars, they can go about writing it together and sharing motifs (the way Tomas and Sabina exchanged the motif of the bowler hat), but if they meet when they are older, like Franz and Sabina, their musical compositions are more or less complete, and every motif, every object, every word means something different to each of them.
When Alex left for Alaska, " Franz remembers, "I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn't believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex.
When Alex left for Alaska," Franz remembers, "I prayed. I asked God to keep his finger on the shoulder of that one; I told him that boy was special. But he let Alex die. So on December 26, when I learned what happened, I renounced the Lord. I withdrew my church membership and became an atheist. I decided I couldn't believe in a God who would let something that terrible happen to a boy like Alex.
Me and Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel and Dana Carvey wrote a script called 'Hans and Franz: The Girlyman Dilemma,' and it was going to be co-produced with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he was going to co-star in it. We had a deal with Sony, we got paid to write it, and it was a musical, but it never got made because...I think Arnold kind of backed out at the last minute because he was getting cold feet because ;The Last Action Hero' had come out, where he was parodying himself. But it was a really funny script, and I wish it could've seen the light, because I think it would've done really well.
Franz Kafka is dead. He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me."
When she walked by the two officers, they didn't recognize her. "Have you seen the luscious bonbon with the golden braids?" She grinned up at them with such impish mischief that they almost forgot their quest for the singer. "She is with her lover, " Hannah said. "But she can always handle one or two more." She winked at them. "Go there, through that door." She made her escape while the uniformed hobbledehoys gawked and gaped and finally burst into the dressing room where Franz, the three-hundred-pound juggling strongman, was adjusting his loincloth. "I ought not do it, " Hannah said aloud to herself as chaos erupted behind her. "I just can't seem to help myself. it is a shame, really.
Laura L. Sullivan
America was founded by puritans and like it or not the anti-pleasure dogma of those buckled-shoed killjoys still pervades our collective unconscious like an I-max shot of Dennis Franz's naked hairy cop ass. Hence, anything enjoyable is automatically forbidden and bad and in our panic to avoid it at all cost we become obsessed with it... like dressing up in a pink teddy and a pair of ugboots and repeatedly screaming the word 'VERBOTEN!' into a conk shell balanced on the back on a miniature pony... Oh, I see.. That would just be me.
And now I feel like crying, because I really do not understand, and I don't think I will when I'm older either. It was only when I loved Franz I understood the world, and felt happy. When you love, you're praying. Everything was quite clear. I wanted to be good. I think you begin things the right way when you want to be good. And I think I'm doing everything wrong now because all I want is for people to be good to me. I want to be loved, everybody wants to be loved; for a thousand people who want to be loved there may perhaps be just one who wants to love. Our Father which art in heaven... my heart is all a lump of grief.
In the evenings, Sam performs exercises to prepare his body for love-making with Franz. He practices kissing (something he'd once hated) by smooching deer lips, antelope ears, frog anuses, and the great, whiskered muzzles of sleeping bison. He improves his petting skills by necking with juniper bushes and pine tree trunks with such passion that the bark snaps and sap runs, or with such tenderness that the whole forest goes silent and swallows nest in his hair.
Franz said 'Your picture, Viki, suggests that sense of breaking-up we feel in the modern world. Families, nations, classes, other loyalty groups falling apart. Things changing before you get to know them. Death on the installment plan - or decay by jumps. Instantaneous birth. Something out of nothing. Reality replacing science fiction so fast that you can't tell which is which. Constant sense of deja-vu - 'I was here before, but when, how?' Even the possibility that there's no real continuity between events, just inexplicable gaps. And of course every gap - every crack - means a new perching place for horror.
The second volume of Reiner Stach's epic biography of Franz Kafka . . . [is] a tangle of counter-grained and often under-sourced life stories, but reading Stach's magnificent narrative (wonderfully translated by Shelley Frisch) straight through brings death, not life, to the forefront. Stach is a compulsively readable writer. . . . [A]s in the previous volume, the prose in The Years of Insight is supple and very appealingly complex--all of which, once again, is perfectly rendered by Frisch.
Directors who have inspired me include Billy Wilder, Federico Fellini, lngmar Bergman, John Ford, Orson Welles, Werner Herzog, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. In art school, I studied painters like Edward Hopper, who used urban motifs, Franz Kafka is my favorite novelist. My approach to film stems from my art background, as I go beyond the story to the sub-conscious mood created by sound and images.
Of all her putative fathers - Max Schlepzig and masked extras on one side of the moving film, Franz Pe¶kler and certainly other pairs of hands busy through trouser cloth, that Alpdre¼cken Night, on the other - Bianca is closest, this last possible moment below decks here behind the ravening jackal, closest to you who came in blinding color, slouched alone in your seat, never threatened along any rookwise row or diagonal all night, you whose interdiction from her mother's water-white love is absolute, you, alone, saying sure I know them, omitting, chuckling count me in, unable, thinking probably some hooker... She favors you, most of all. You'll never get to see her. So somebody has to tell you.
I went to Hollywood. I put the action in Hollywood. I watched a lot of movies, maybe 100 or something close to that. I have tons of DVDs now at home. I don't know what to do with them because they're not useful anymore. My kids never watched them. I read a lot of autobiographies, listened to a lot of music by classical era composers like Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman and Leonard Bernstein. I listened to only that kind of music the entire time I was writing, even at home.
Important days don't look like anything special when they start. Invariably, the sun rises and people wake up. Coffee is swilled and eggs are swallowed. Everybody goes about the business of acting like their lives matter and then, no matter how important the events of the day end up being, the sun invariably sets. The sun rose before the soldiers stormed Omaha Beach on D-Day, and the sun set after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed. Sunrises and sunsets are real jerks about putting things in perspective.
My dear fellow " Said Albert, turning to Franz " here is an admirable adventure; we will fill our carriage with pistols, blunderbusses, and double-barreled shotguns. Luigi Vampa comes to take us, and we take him - we bring him back to Rome , and present him to him holiness the Pope, who asks how he can repay so great a service; Then we merely ask for a cariage and a pair of horses, and we will see the Carnival in the carriage , and doubtless the Roman people will crown us at the capitol , and proclaim us, like Curtius and the veiled Horatius, the preservers of there country." Whilst Albert proposed this scheme, signor Pastrini's face assumed an expression impossible to describe.
One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, "As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . ." When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
FV: Hasn't all art, in a way, submitted to words - reduced itself to the literary... admitted its failure through all the catalogues and criticism, monographs and manifestos - ML: Explanations? FV: Exactly. All the artistry, now, seems expended in the rhetoric and sophistry used to differentiate, to justify its own existence now that so little is left to do. And who's to say how much of it ever needed doing in the first place? [... ] Nothing's been done here but the re-writing of rules, in denial that the game was already won, long ago, by the likes of Duchamp, Arp, or Malevich. I mean, what's more, or, what's less to be said than a single black square? ML: Well, a triangle has fewer sides, I suppose. FV: Then a circle, a line, a dot. The rest is academic; obvious variations on an unnecessary theme, until you're left with just an empty canvas - which I'm sure has been done, too. ML: Franz Kline, wasn't it? Or, Yves Klein - didn't he once exhibit a completely empty gallery? No canvases at all. FV: I guess, from there, to not exhibit anything - to do absolutely nothing at all - would be the next "conceptual" act; the ultimate multimedia performance, where all artforms converge in negation and silence. And someone's probably already put their signature to that, as well. But even this should be too much, to involve an artist, a name. Surely nothing, done by no-one, is the greatest possible artistic achievement. Yet, that too has been done. Long, long ago. Before the very first artists ever walked the earth.
Mort W. Lumsden
It is entirely conceivable that life's splendour forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from our view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. This is the essence of magic, which does not create but summons Franz Kafka, 18 October 1921 Es ist sehr gut denkbar, dass die Herrlichkeit des Lebes um jeden und immer in ihrer ganzen Fe¼lle bereitliegt, aber verhe¤ngt, in der Tiefe, unsichtbar, sehr weit. Aber sie liegt dort, nicht feindselig, nicht widerwillig, nicht taub. Ruft man sie mit dem richtigen Wort, beim richtigen Namen, dann kommt sie. Das ist das Wesen der Zauberei, die nicht schafft, sondern ruft. Kafkas Tagebe¼cher, 18 Oktober 1921
Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliche (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliche upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.
The usual short story cannot have a complex plot, but it often has a simple one resembling a chain with two or three links. The short short, however, doesn't as a rule have even that much - you don't speak of a chain when there's only one link... Sometimes... the short short appears to rest on nothing more than a fragile anecdote which the writer has managed to drape with a quantity of suggestion. A single incident, a mere anecdote - these form the spine of the short short. Everything depends on intensity, one sweeping blow of perception. In the short short the writer gets no second chance. Either he strikes through at once or he's lost. And because it depends so heavily on this one sweeping blow, the short short often approaches the condition of a fable. When you read the two pieces by Tolstoy in this book, or I.L. Peretz's 'If Not Higher, ' or Franz Kafka's 'The Hunter Gracchus, ' you feel these writers are intent upon 'making a point' - but obliquely, not through mere statement. What they project is not the sort of impression of life we expect in most fiction, but something else: an impression of an idea of life. Or: a flicker in darkness, a slight cut of being. The shorter the piece of writing, the more abstract it may seem to us. In reading Paz's brilliant short short we feel we have brushed dangerously against the sheer arbitrariness of existence; in reading Peretz's, that we have been brought up against a moral reflection on the nature of goodness, though a reflection hard merely to state. Could we say that the short short is to other kinds of fiction somewhat as the lyric is to other kinds of poetry? The lyric does not seek meaning through extension, it accepts the enigmas of confinement. It strives for a rapid unity of impression, an experience rendered in its wink of immediacy. And so too with the short short... Writers who do short shorts need to be especially bold. They stake everything on a stroke of inventiveness. Sometimes they have to be prepared to speak out directly, not so much in order to state a theme as to provide a jarring or complicating commentary. The voice of the writer brushes, so to say, against his flash of invention. And then, almost before it begins, the fiction is brought to a stark conclusion - abrupt, bleeding, exhausting. This conclusion need not complete the action; it has only to break it off decisively. Here are a few examples of the writer speaking out directly. Paz: 'The universe is a vast system of signs.' Kafka in 'First Sorrow': The trapeze artist's 'social life was somewhat limited.' Paula Fox: 'We are starving here in our village. At last, we are at the center.' Babel's cossack cries out, 'You guys in specs have about as much pity for chaps like us as a cat for a mouse.' Such sentences serve as devices of economy, oblique cues. Cryptic and enigmatic, they sometimes replace action, dialogue and commentary, for none of which, as it happens, the short short has much room. There's often a brilliant overfocussing. ("Introduction")