Kafka/ Burrow/ Milena

Probably not related but this part of a letter from Kafka to Milena (June 12, 1920) brought to mind his story The Burrow, which was written three years later. “What a terrible story,” he writes (speaking of something Max Brod had written him about)–

Once I caught a mole and carried him into the hops garden. When I tossed him on the ground he plunged into the earth like a madman, disappearing as if he had dived into water. That is how one would have to hide from this story.

And, a couple months later, pp. 138 of the Boehm translation, he writes these lines (speaking of his dashed hopes of seeing her):

I wouldn’t have to mention this at all, it’s just that I was so happy to find this narrow tunnel leading out of the dark apartment to you. I had thrown myself into it with all my soul, into this passageway which could […] lead to you but which instead runs smack into the impenetrable stone of Please-don’t-come. So now I have to turn back, again with all my soul, slowly return though the passage I had dug so quickly, and fill it in. That hurts a little, you see, but it can’t be all that bad, since I’m able to write about it in such a tedious manner. In the end one always finds new tunnels to burrow, old mole that one is.

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