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June 07, 2008

An axe for the frozen sea inside us

"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."

- Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak (27 January 1904)

Posted by Ghost of a flea at June 7, 2008 08:11 AM

Comments

Good Lord!

No Jane Austen, no Wilkie Collins, no Kipling?

The continentals are so morose. I think it's all the wars and possibly not enough sleep.

Posted by: Occam's Carbuncle [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 9, 2008 09:24 AM