Jüdinnen (2)

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191103.php?en#000134

By now we are almost accustomed in Western European stories, as soon as they try to encompass any groups of Jews, to seek out and find beneath or above the portrayal the solution to the Jewish question as well. But in Jüdinnen such a solution is not shown and not even attempted, since the very characters who are occupied with such questions stand farthest from the center of the story, where events turn more quickly, so that we can still observe them but no longer have a chance to get from them a calm report of their efforts. Suddenly we perceive this as a flaw in the story, and feel ourselves all the more justified in this dismissal since today, with the coming of Zionism, the possible solutions to the Jewish problem are so clearly laid out that the writer would, after all, only have needed a few steps to find the particular possible solution appropriate to his story.

This flaw arises from yet another. Jüdinnen lacks the non-Jewish onlookers, those respectable opponents who in other stories draw forth the Jewishness so that it pushes out against them, shifts into astonishment, doubt, envy, terror, and finally, finally into self-confidence, but in any case can straighten itself to its full length only against them. Just that is what we demand, we don’t recognize any another resolution of the Jewish material. And we don’t rely on such a feeling in this case alone, at least in one direction it is general. On a footpath in Italy, for instance, we are delighted when a lizard darts off exquisitely from our footsteps, we keep wanting to bend down, but if we see them at a shop by the hundreds, crawling over one another in the large glasses where pickles are usually kept, then we don’t know how to handle it

Both flaws combine into a third. Jüdinnen can do without that foremost youth who in such a story usually pulls the best things to himself and leads them outward, in a beautiful radial direction, to the borders of the Jewish circle. That is precisely what we won’t accept, that the story can do without this youth, here we sense a fault more than we see it.

Jüdinnen (1)

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191103.php?en#000133

Readers have become accustomed, in contemporary Western European Jewish stories, to seek out and find just above or beneath the story the solution to the Jewish question as well; but in Jüdinnen such a solution is not portrayed and not even attempted, so that the reader might well suddenly perceive this as a flaw in Jüdinnen, and will look on only reluctantly if Jews should come into the daylight without political encourangement from the past or the future. Here he must say to himself that, particularly since the advent of Zionism, the possible solutions to the Jewish problem are so clearly laid out that the author need only turn his body, after all, to find a particular solution appropriate to that part of the problem lying before him.

That I would look up Dr. Steiner

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191103.php?en#000131

28 March 1911. The painter Pollak-Karlin, his wife with two large wide front teeth tapering her large, rather flat face, Frau Hofrath Bittner, the composer’s mother, whose age so brings out her strong skeleton that at least while sitting she looks like a man: - Dr. Steiner is so very occupied with his absent students - At the lecture the dead crowd around him so. Intellectual curiosity? But do they actually need it. Apparently so. - Sleeps 2 hours. Ever since his electric lights were once cut off, he always has a candle by him. - He stood very near Christ. - He staged his theater piece in Munich. (”You can study it a whole year and still not understand it.”) He designed the costumes, wrote the music. - He gave instruction to a chemist. Simon Löwy, silk merchant in Paris, Quai Moncey, got the best business advice from him. He translated his work into French. Thus the Hofrat’s wife has written in her notebook, “How does one achieve the knowledge of higher worlds? At S. Löwy’s in Paris.” - In the Vienna lodge is a 65-year-old Theosophist, strong as a giant, formerly a great drunkard with a thick head, who continually believes and continually has doubts. Supposedly it was very funny when, once at a congress in Budapest, at a dinner on Blocksberg one moonlit night, Dr. Steiner came unexpectedly into the gathering and he hid in fear behind a beer barrel with a mug (though Dr. Steiner would not have been angry at this) - Perhaps he is not the greatest living psychic researcher, but he alone has received the task of uniting Theosophy with science. That’s also why he knows everything.

Once a botanist, a great master of the occult, came to his native village. He enlightened him. - That I would look up Dr. Steiner was interpreted by the lady for me as the beginning of recollection. - The lady’s doctor had, when she showed the first signs of influenza, asked Dr. Steiner about a remedy, prescribed it to the woman so that she got better immediately. - A Frenchwoman took leave of him with “Au revoir.” He shook his hand behind her. Two months later she died. Yet another similar case in Munich. - A Munich doctor heals using colors picked out by Dr. Steiner. Also he sends patients into the Pinakotheque with instructions to concentrate on a particular picture for a half hour or longer. - Destruction of Atlantis, fall of Lemuria, and now through egoism. - We live in a decisive time. Dr. Steiner’s efforts will be successful if only the powers of Ahriman do not gain the upper hand. - He eats two liters of almond milk and fruits that grow in the air. - He keeps company with his absent students by means of thought forms, which he sends out to them without bothering about them after they have produced. But soon they wear off and he must generate more - Mrs. Fanta: I have a bad memory. Dr St. Don’t eat any eggs.

My visit to Dr. Steiner

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191103.php?en#000132

My visit to Dr. Steiner.

A woman is already waiting (up on the third floor of the Victoria Hotel at Jungmannsstrasse) but insists that I go in before her. We wait. The secretary comes with promises. Down the corridor I catch a glimpse of him. Immediately afterward he comes up to us with half-extended arms. The woman explains that I was the first to come. I walk behind him now, as he directs me into his room. His Kaiser gown, which on lecture evenings seems mopped black (not mopped, but rather radiant in its own blackness) is now by daylight (at 3 in the afternoon) dusty and even spotted, especially on the back and shoulders. In his room I try to show my humility, which I can’t feel, by looking for a ridiculous place for my hat; I put it on a small wooden rack for lacing boots. In the center a table, I sit with a view of the window, he on the left side of the table. Some papers on the table, with a few drawings recalling one of the lectures on occult physiology. A small volume of annals in natural philosophy tops a short pile of books, other books lie around elsewhere. You can’t look around now, for he keeps seeking to hold you with his gaze, and if he fails at it once, you must look out for the gaze’s return. He begins with a few loose sentences: So you are Dr. Kafka? Have you been interested long in Theosophy? But I press forward with my prepared speech: I feel as if a large part of my being is drawn to Theosophy, but at the same time I have the greatest fear of it. I’m afraid of it bringing a new confusion, which would be terrible for me, seeing as my present unhappiness consists of nothing but confusion. The nature of the confusion is this: my happiness, my abilities and any possibility of using them have always lain in literature. And here I have even experienced states (not many) which in my opinion lie very close to the clairvoyant states that you describe, Herr Doctor, in which I lived entirely within each idea, but also fulfilled each idea, and in which I felt myself not only at my own bounds but at the bounds of all humanity. Only the ecstatic peace which may be unique to the clairvoyant was missing from these states, though not quite entirely. I leave out of this that I have not written my best work in these states. — Currently I can’t devote myself entirely to these literary pursuits, as I should, and for various reasons. Apart from my family situation, I couldn’t live from literature alone because of the slow development of my work and its particular character; in addition, my health and my character prevent me from devoting myself to a life that is uncertain at best. So I have become an office worker at a social insurance institute. Now these two professions could never tolerate one another and accept a shared fortune. The least good fortune in one is a great misfortune in the other. If I have written something good one evening, the next day in the office I am on fire and can’t get anything finished. This back-and-forth is getting steadily worse.

In the office I fulfill my duties outwardly, but not my inner duties, and each unsatisfied inner duty turns into an unhappiness which never stirs out of me. And to these two endeavors, never to be balanced, shall I now add Theosophy as a third? Will it not disturb them on both sides and itself be interrupted from both? Will I, presently such an unhappy person, be able to carry these three to a conclusion? I have come, Herr Doctor, to ask you this, for I feel that if you consider me capable of it, I too can really take it upon myself.

He listened very attentively, without seeming to attend to me in the least, entirely devoted to my words. He nodded from time to time, which for him seemed to be an aid to strict concentration. At the beginning a silent cold disturbed him, it ran out of his nose, he kept working at it with his handkerchief deep in his nose, a finger on either nostril

Theosophical lectures by Dr. Rudolf Steiner

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191103.php?en#000130

26 March 1911

Theosophical lectures by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, Berlin. Rhetorical effect: relaxed discussion of the objections of opponents, the listener is amazed by this strong opposition, further development and enlivening of these objections, the listener falls into worry, sinks entirely into these objections as if there were nothing else, now the listener takes a response to be impossible and is more than satisfied with a fleeting description of the possibility of defense.

This rhetorical effect corresponds, incidentally, to the commandment of the devotional spirit. - Continual gazing on the surface of one’s extended hand. - Leaving out the final point. In general the spoken sentence begins at the speaker with its great capital letter, in its course bends as far as it can out to the listeners, and turns back to the speaker with the final point. But if the final point is left out, then the sentence, no longer held, blows directly onto the listener with the entire breath.

Earlier a lecture by Loos and Kraus.

My visit to Dr. Steiner

http://kafka.metameat.net/archives/191102.php?en#000132

My visit to Dr. Steiner.

A woman is already waiting (up on the third floor of the Victoria Hotel at Jungmannsstrasse) but insists that I go in before her. We wait. The secretary comes with promises. Down the corridor I catch a glimpse of him. Immediately afterward he comes up to us with half-extended arms. The woman explains that I was the first to come. I walk behind him now, as he directs me into his room. His Kaiser gown, which on lecture evenings seems mopped black (not mopped, but rather radiant in its own blackness) is now by daylight (at 3 in the afternoon) dusty and even spotted, especially on the back and shoulders. In his room I try to show my humility, which I can’t feel, by looking for a ridiculous place for my hat; I put it on a small wooden rack for lacing boots. In the center a table, I sit with a view of the window, he on the left side of the table. Some papers on the table, with a few drawings recalling one of the lectures on occult physiology. A small volume of annals in natural philosophy tops a short pile of books, other books lie around elsewhere. You can’t look around now, for he keeps seeking to hold you with his gaze, and if he fails at it once, you must look out for the gaze’s return. He begins with a few loose sentences: So you are Dr. Kafka? Have you been interested long in Theosophy? But I press forward with my prepared speech: I feel as if a large part of my being is drawn to Theosophy, but at the same time I have the greatest fear of it. I’m afraid of it bringing a new confusion, which would be terrible for me, seeing as my present unhappiness consists of nothing but confusion. The nature of the confusion is this: my happiness, my abilities and any possibility of using them have always lain in literature. And here I have even experienced states (not many) which in my opinion lie very close to the clairvoyant states that you describe, Herr Doctor, in which I lived entirely within each idea, but also fulfilled each idea, and in which I felt myself not only at my own bounds but at the bounds of all humanity. Only the ecstatic peace which may be unique to the clairvoyant was missing from these states, though not quite entirely. I leave out of this that I have not written my best work in these states. — Currently I can’t devote myself entirely to these literary pursuits, as I should, and for various reasons. Apart from my family situation, I couldn’t live from literature alone because of the slow development of my work and its particular character; in addition, my health and my character prevent me from devoting myself to a life that is uncertain at best. So I have become an office worker at a social insurance institute. Now these two professions could never tolerate one another and accept a shared fortune. The least good fortune in one is a great misfortune in the other. If I have written something good one evening, the next day in the office I am on fire and can’t get anything finished. This back-and-forth is getting steadily worse.

In the office I fulfill my duties outwardly, but not my inner duties, and each unsatisfied inner duty turns into an unhappiness which never stirs out of me. And to these two endeavors, never to be balanced, shall I now add Theosophy as a third? Will it not disturb them on both sides and itself be interrupted from both? Will I, presently such an unhappy person, be able to carry these three to a conclusion? I have come, Herr Doctor, to ask you this, for I feel that if you consider me capable of it, I too can really take it upon myself.

He listened very attentively, without seeming to attend to me in the least, entirely devoted to my words. He nodded from time to time, which for him seemed to be an aid to strict concentration. At the beginning a silent cold disturbed him, it ran out of his nose, he kept working at it with his handkerchief deep in his nose, a finger on either nostril