kafka in davenport

“Instead, he prays. Have mercy on me, O God. I am sinful in every corner of my being. The gifts thou has given me are not contemptible. My talent is a small one, and even that I have wasted. It is precisely when a work is about to mature, to fulfill its promise, that we mortals realize that we have thrown our time away, have squandered our energies. It is absurd, I know, for one insignificant creature to cry that it is alive, and does not want to be hurled into the dark along with the lost. It is the life in me that speaks, not me, though I speak with it, selfishly, in its ridiculous longing to stay alive, and partake of its presumptuous joy in being.”

(Guy Davenport, “The Chair”, p. 59 in Apples and Pears and Other Stories.)

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