"Franz Kafka was born into a myth called Prague."
"Imagine a childhood where the I is an enigma and the community is entelechy. A home laid siege to by dead brothers, distant sisters, cold governesses and a caustic cook. A world seen through a veil of fear and guilt..."
These were introductory words that greeted me as a visitor to Franz Kafka Museum in the Czech capital of Prague. The past life of a restless soul, restored in this space to full immediacy and actuality, at once appeared vivid and came to seep into my inner consciousness when I was promptly struck by Kafka's perceived hypersensitive temperament at display here. By his own admission: in this city, every breath was felt to be uncertain. Again, what an actuality for me as well. Upon reading this line from his notebook: "a cage went in search of a bird", I started to wonder if I were in truth a butterfly who forgot my previous life?
I don't think I'll ever know.
Family letter handwritten by Kafka to his father: