Thus There Are Butterflies in Kafka, Too


Und die Schmetterlinge beginnen zu singen (And the Butterflies Begin to Sing). Max Ernst, Paris, 1929

 
 

Thus there are butterflies in Kafka, too

with the name of the worshiper

their fullness is crammed into the fullness of the world

like the totem poles of primitive peoples,

the world of the ancestors took him down to the animals

he must really have known it all along

just as K.

engraves curlicues on the backs of guilty men

forces Kafka to move cosmic ages in his writing

convert poetry into doctrine

in the face of reason

so faithfully

 

Walter Benjamin
Illuminations

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