Line(s) of the Day #TheTrial

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Someone must have been spreading lies about Josef K, for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one morning.

The opening lines of the novella The Trial by Czech-born German language writer Franz Kafka. Published posthumously in 1925, (but believed to be written around 1914 / 1915), it tells of an innocent man’s struggles to clear against a charge he is never made aware of.  I’ve long been a fan of his work and quoted my favourite of his short stories here,

Line(s) of the Day #TheMenRunningPast

Contemplation

If we happen to be walking along a street at night, and a man, visible already from afar — because the street inclines gently uphill in front of us, and there’s a full moon — comes running towards us, then we will not grab hold of him, even if he’s feeble and ragged, even if someone is running after him, yelling, but rather we will let him run on unmolested.

For it is night, and it is not our fault that the street in front of us in the moonlit night is on an incline and, moreover, it is possible that the two men have devised their chase for their own amusement, perhaps they are both in pursuit of a third man, perhaps the first of them is being unjustly pursued, perhaps the second means to kill him and we would become accessory to his murder, perhaps the two of them don’t know the first thing about one another and each one is just running home to bed on his own account, perhaps they are two somnambulists, perhaps the first of them is carrying a weapon.

And finally, may we not be tired, and have we not had a lot of wine to drink? We are relieved not to see the second man.

The full story of ‘The Men Running Past’ by Czechoslovakian (now known as the Czech Republic) Franz Kafka, from the collection Contemplation (1913)