The sick man

Kafka spent eight months in Zürau, in the Bohemian countryside […] The tuberculosis had declared itself a month before, when he coughed up blood in the night. The sick man didn’t hide a certain sense of relief. Writing to Felix Weltsch, he compared himself to the ‘happy lover’ who exclaims: ‘All the previous times were but illusions, only now do I truly love’. Illness was the final lover, which allowed him to close the old accounts.

— Roberto Calasso, K. (tr. G. Brock)

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