This is a fragment from my beloved writer Franz Kafka’s diaries. I can’t describe the raw brilliance of these words. I can’t believe someone had this thought and noted down in his diaries, which he had instructed his friend to burn after his death.
This thought exists, still, and continues to exist in my own heart.
It exists because Kafka wrote it down in his diaries and Max didn’t burn the diaries. It exists because, above all, it was written down. Max had a choice — whether to burn Kafka’s unpublished works or not — only because Kafka had written things down. One cannot preserve or publish what doesn’t exist. One cannot set fire to what is yet to exist. Kafka gave Max a choice by not burning his unpublished works himself when he was alive.
Now, in the evening, after having studied since six o’clock in the morning, I noticed that my left hand had already for some time been sympathetically clasping my right hand by the fingers.
— Franz Kafka, Diaries