Franz Kafka

Monday, February 26, 2018

Today Only: Free Book Promotion on Amazon, Monday, Februry 26th, 2018 (Italian Edition)

Book Cover of "L'Inverno e il Re Triste, una Favola" (Italian Edition), LiteraryJoint Press

Today Only: Free Book Promotion on Amazon:  Monday, February 26th, 2017 (Italian Edition)

Alle soglie dell'inverno, al limitare dei suoi giorni, un Re si spinge fin nei meandri del bosco, ove una creatura delle foreste gli confiderà un segreto fuggevole e misterioso...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

"Zerstreutes Hinausschaun," by Franz Kafka: "Absent-minded Window-gazing" (or "A Stray Glance From The Window") translated in English. "Zerstreutes Hinausschaun," by Franz Kafka, with Original Text in German

Vincent Van Gogh's "Peasant Woman Sewing In Front Of A Window" (1885)
 From "The Tales of Franz Kafka: English Translation With Original Text In German," available as e-book on Amazon KindleiPhone, iPad, or iPod touchon NOOK Bookon Kobo, and as printed, traditional edition through  Amazon and Lulu.

Zerstreutes Hinausschaun

Was werden wir in diesen Frühlingstagen tun, die jetzt rasch kommen? Heute früh war der Himmel grau, geht man aber jetzt zum Fenster, so ist man überrascht und lehnt die Wange an die Klinke des Fensters.
Unten sieht man das Licht der freilich schon sinkenden Sonne auf dem Gesicht des kindlichen Mädchens, das so geht und sich umschaut, und zugleich sieht man den Schatten des Mannes darauf, der hinter ihm rascher kommt.
Dann ist der Mann schon vorübergegangen und das Gesicht des Kindes ist ganz hell.

Absent-minded Window-gazing (or "A Stray Glance From The Window")

What are we going to do with these spring days, which are now fast approaching? This morning the sky was grey, but now if one goes to the window is surprised and leans his cheek against the latch of the window.
 The sun is already setting, but down below you see it lights up the face of the little girl who strolls along looking about her, and at the same time you see her eclipsed by the shadow of the man overtaking her.
And then the man has already passed by and the face of the little girl grows very bright.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Kleider," by Franz Kafka: "Clothes," translated in English. "Kleider," by Franz Kafka, with Original Text in German

Franz Kafka in 1906.

From "The Tales of Franz Kafka: English Translation With Original Text In German," available as e-book on Amazon KindleiPhone, iPad, or iPod touchon NOOK Bookon Kobo, and as printed, traditional edition through  Amazon and Lulu.


Often when I see clothes with multiple pleats, ruffles, and ornaments that fit so smoothly a beautiful body,  I think that they will not stay like this for a long time, but will get creases that can not be ironed out, will collect so thick a dust in the ornament that it can not be brushed away, and that no one will want to look so unhappy and ridiculous, to wear every day the same precious dress, and undress in the evening.
But I see girls, who certainly are pretty and often show such lovely muscles and delicate bones and smooth skin and masses of thin hair, and yet appear every day in this one natural fancy dress, always propping the same face in the same palms and let it be reflected in the mirror.
Only at times,  in the evening when they come home late from a party, looking in the mirror, it appears to them as worn out, bloated, dusty, already seen by everyone, and no longer wearable again.


Oft wenn ich Kleider mit vielfachen Falten, Rüschen und Behängen sehe, die über schönen Körper schön sich legen, dann denke ich, daß sie nicht lange so erhalten bleiben, sondern Falten bekommen, nicht mehr geradezuglätten, Staub bekommen, der, dick in der Verzierung, nicht mehr zu entfernen ist, und daß niemand so traurig und lächerlich sich wird machen wollen, täglich das gleiche kostbare Kleid früh anzulegen und abends auszuziehn.
Doch sehe ich Mädchen, die wohl schön sind und vielfach reizende Muskeln und Knöchelchen und gespannte Haut und Massen dünner Haare zeigen, und doch tagtäglich in diesem einen natürlichen Maskenanzug erscheinen, immer das gleiche Gesicht in die gleichen Handflächen legen und von ihrem Spiegel widerscheinen lassen.
Nur manchmal am Abend, wenn sie spät von einem Feste kommen, scheint es ihnen im Spiegel abgenützt, gedunsen, verstaubt, von allen schon gesehn und kaum mehr tragbar.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

"I limoni" (The Lemon Trees) by Eugenio Montale, translated in English. From the collection "Ossi di seppia” (Cuttlefish bones,) 1925

Cover of  "Montale's Essential: The Poems of Eugenio Montale in English," available on Kindle.

The Lemon Trees

Listen to me, the laureate poets
only wander among plants
with little known names: boxwood or acanthus.
As to me, I prefer the small streets that falter
into grassy ditches where in puddles
that are half dried boys might capture
a struggling eel:
the little path that winds down
along the slope, plunges through cane-tufts
and opens into the orchards, among the lemon trees.

Perhaps it is better if the jubilee of small birds
dies down, swallowed by the sky:
more clearly one can listen the murmur
of tender branches in the almost unmoving air,
and the senses of this odor
that cannot part from the earth
and like rain in the breast a restless sweetness descends.
Here of all worldly passions
as a miracle the war is hushed,
here even to us who are poor is granted our share of wealth
which is the fragrance of the lemon trees.

See, in these silences in which things
yield and almost betray
their ultimate secrets,
at times, one half expects
to discover an error in Nature,
the still point of reality, the missing link that holds not,
the thread to untangle that finally gets us
right at a truth of some kind.
Our glance fumbles all around,
the mind seeks, makes harmonies, falls apart
in the scent that spreads
at the time the day is most languishing.
These are the silences in which one sees
in every fading human shadow
some disturbed divinity.

Yet the illusion wanes, and in time we return
to our noisy cities where the blue shows
only in fragments, high up, among the towering shapes.
Then rain wears out the earth;
Tedious, winter burdens the roofs,
the daylight grows miser  -  the soul bitter.
Yet, one day through an accidentally open gate
among the trees of a courtyard
the yellow of lemons shows;
and the heart that was frozen thaws,
and into our breast pour
their songs
the golden trumpets of the sun. 

From "Montale's Essential: The Poems of Eugenio Montale in English"  
ebook available on Amazon and Kobo


I limoni

Ascoltami, i poeti laureati
si muovono soltanto fra le piante
dai nomi poco usati: bossi ligustri o acanti.
lo, per me, amo le strade che riescono agli erbosi
fossi dove in pozzanghere
mezzo seccate agguantano i ragazzi
qualche sparuta anguilla:
le viuzze che seguono i ciglioni,
discendono tra i ciuffi delle canne
e mettono negli orti, tra gli alberi dei limoni.

Meglio se le gazzarre degli uccelli
si spengono inghiottite dall'azzurro:
più chiaro si ascolta il susurro
dei rami amici nell'aria che quasi non si muove,
e i sensi di quest'odore
che non sa staccarsi da terra
e piove in petto una dolcezza inquieta.
Qui delle divertite passioni
per miracolo tace la guerra,
qui tocca anche a noi poveri la nostra parte di ricchezza
ed è l'odore dei limoni.

Vedi, in questi silenzi in cui le cose
s'abbandonano e sembrano vicine
a tradire il loro ultimo segreto,
talora ci si aspetta
di scoprire uno sbaglio di Natura,
il punto morto del mondo, l'anello che non tiene,
il filo da disbrogliare che finalmente ci metta
nel mezzo di una verità.
Lo sguardo fruga d'intorno,
la mente indaga accorda disunisce
nel profumo che dilaga
quando il giorno piú languisce.
Sono i silenzi in cui si vede
in ogni ombra umana che si allontana
qualche disturbata Divinità.

Ma l'illusione manca e ci riporta il tempo
nelle città rurnorose dove l'azzurro si mostra
soltanto a pezzi, in alto, tra le cimase.
La pioggia stanca la terra, di poi; s'affolta
il tedio dell'inverno sulle case,
la luce si fa avara - amara l'anima.
Quando un giorno da un malchiuso portone
tra gli alberi di una corte
ci si mostrano i gialli dei limoni;
e il gelo dei cuore si sfa,
e in petto ci scrosciano
le loro canzoni
le trombe d'oro della solarità.

From the collection "Ossi di seppia” (Cuttlefish bones,) 1925.