Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Something for the literary types

"When I examine my ultimate aim it shows that I do not actually strive to be good, to answer to a supreme tribunal. Very much the opposite. I strive to know the entire human and animal community, to recognize their fundamental preferences, desires, and moral ideals, to reduce them to simple rules, and as quickly as possible to adopt these rules so as to be pleasing to everyone, indeed (and here is the twist) to become so pleasing that in the end I might openly act out my inherent baseness before the eyes of the world without forfeiting its love--the only sinner not to be roasted. In short, my only concern is with the human tribunal, and I would like to deceive even this, and what's more without actual deception."

- Franz Kafka, from his diary (and a letter to his fiancee), 1912

(from an article about the fascination with Kafka, in the March '06 issue of the Believer)

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