"I love cafés because they are complex spaces. When I’m in a café, I’m completely involved with those who are at the same table with me, I’m all ear to what they say to me, and at the same time, as in a text, a paragram, a stereophony, there is a field of diversion all around me, people entering and leaving, triggering something novelistic."
"I can only say: I love you, F., to the limits of my strength, in this respect you can trust me entirely. But for the rest, F., I do not know myself completely. Surprises and disappointments about myself follow each other in endless succession.What I hope is that these surprises and disappointments will be mine alone; I shall use all my strength to see that none but the pleasant, the pleasantest of surprises of my nature will touch you; I can vouch for this, but what I cannot vouch for is that I shall always succeed. How could I vouch for that in view of the bewildering confusion in my letters which you have been receiving from me all this time? We haven’t been together much, it’s true, but even if we had been together a great deal, I would have asked you (for that would then have been impossible to do) to judge me by my letters and not by your personal experience."
Franz Kafka, Letter to Felice Bauer (1914)
"In writing and in reading it is the emotion that must come first."