By Desmond Hogan
Following a crippling melancholy and institutionalization, the author Desmond wanders from his local Dublin round an more and more unrecognizable Europe, and so far as the southern usa, assembling a patchwork of small tales, conversations, amorous affairs, thoughts, regrets, and confrontations: “the labyrinth of news of individuals whose lives you contact . . . in order that your brain turns into like a polychromatic Irish pub.” even if a sequence of tragic postcards, a cubist novel, or a memoir shorn of its connective tissue, A Farewell to Prague stands as Desmond Hogan’s maximum fulfillment: a catalog of the moments that justify a life—or shine a mild on its vacancy.
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Extra info for A Farewell to Prague (Irish Literature Series)
K. did so, but waited until Fräulein Bürstner quietly repeated her invitation to come in. ‘Sit down,’ she said, pointing to the ottoman; she herself stayed standing against the bedpost, despite the tiredness she’d mentioned. She hadn’t even taken oﬀ her little hat decorated with a profusion of ﬂowers. ‘So what do you want? ’ She crossed her legs slightly. ‘Perhaps you will say the matter wasn’t so urgent’, K. said, ‘that it had to be discussed now, but—’ ‘I always ignore introductory remarks,’ said Fräulein Bürstner.
She was darning a stocking, seated at a table on which was a pile of other old stockings. Flustered, K. apologized for coming at such a late hour, but Frau Grubach was very friendly and waved his apologies away, her door was always open for him, she said, he knew very well that he was her best and dearest lodger. K. looked round the room; it was completely restored to its former state, the breakfast dishes that had been on the little table by the window that morning had been cleared away. A woman’s hand can do so much unseen, he thought.
Franz Kafka: Semi-Centenary Perspectives (London: Elek, 1976), 22 – 41. Further Reading in Oxford World’s Classics Kafka, Franz, The Castle, tr. Anthea Bell, ed. Ritchie Robertson. —— The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, tr. Joyce Crick, ed. Ritchie Robertson. A CHRONOLOGY OF FRANZ KAFKA 1883 3 July: Franz Kafka born in Prague, son of Hermann Kafka (1852 – 1931) and his wife Julie, née Löwy (1856 – 1934). 1885 Birth of FK’s brother Georg, who died at the age of ﬁfteen months. 1887 Birth of FK’s brother Heinrich, who died at the age of six months.