Die ganze Welt ist ihrer voll, ja die ganze sichtbare Welt ist vielleicht nichts anderes als eine Motivation des einen Augenblick lang ruhenwollenden Menschen. This then includes the sensual as distinct from the sensuous. But true experience and knowledge are possible. Alles will doch zum Ziel und Ziel ist nur eines. H The world of appearances or psychology would not be dangerous if it did not contain elements of the divine which, being hidden, tend to dissuade man of the existence of the divine.
This is above all the case with sensual love. As the sensual contains sparks of the divine it must not be rejected in the Manichean way. Darin sind sie mit ihren Gegnern einig. In line with the philosophies of such widely separated thinkers as Aquinas and Buber,  evil has no independent reality. See above. The way to be good is to be yourself completely, which means also that your faith must be completely in accordance with your own being. Every man, insofar as he is himself completely, can be a Messiah.
This suggests the teachings of Hassidism. The Messiah in person will not come till the end of time, until the sum of men who lived a life true to their innermost being has brought redemption to completion. None of the responsibility of redemption is taken from individual man. It is difficult here to distinguish between following in the footsteps of Christ and auto-messianic action with a view to the Messiah to come, particularly as Christians too await the final return of the Messiah at the end of time and Judaism traditionally knows of two Messiahs — the Messiah Ben Josef, Christ, who falls in the fight and the Messiah Ben David, who will come at the end of time and whom Kafka seems to be referring to in his aphorism.
It would appear that Kafka acknowledged the relationship of Christianity and Judaism but himself remained closer to Judaism in its Hassidic form, perhaps also because it directed attention towards the future and the work still to be done by each living man in the course of his life. Ich bin Ende oder Anfang. A similar decision to stay outside all churches was made by another modern mystic, Simone Weil, and explained in the following way:. I should betray the truth, that is to say the aspect of truth which I see, if I left the point, where I have been since my birth, at the intersection of Christianity and everything that is not Christian.
Here three things should be remembered. For Kafka the attempt to achieve good involved self-destruction or martyrdom. Therefore suffering became something good. Das Leiden ist das positive Element dieser Welt, ja es ist die einzige Verbindung zwischen der Welt und dem Positiven. Nur hier ist Leiden Leiden. Diese Welt ist unsere Verirrung, als solche ist sie [ In the third place, one must keep in mind what is said in the little parable of Sancho Pansa.
The writer Sancho Pansa wrote in order to divert his devil, whom he later named Don Quixote and who was the epitome of unreality and semblance, from himself and occupy him with such harmless pursuits as fighting windmills. BeK . What has been said in the various sections of Part I falls under three main headings.
Kafka opened up, as perhaps no other has done, the realm of the unconscious in the sense of not-conscious to literature, not only as material for writing — many had begun to do that — but also insofar as it led to a style, even a genre, and insofar as it was the source of creative processes that could be brought under control. Secondly, though Kafka did eventually have ethical and metaphysical convictions and beliefs, he was concerned with asking the questions these posed, not giving answers. The chapters of Part I should have made it clear that there are different origins, kinds, uses and finally, different degrees of ambivalence.
If we claim that Kafka is basically a writer of ambivalence this does not mean that his works have no fixed points and no direction; without a certain continuity of thought and vision we should not be prepared to accept them as works of art. The main stages of this will be summed up in a brief introduction to Das Schloss. Orientation of the Young Writer.
In his earliest known works, Kafka explores the possibilities of literature in an age in which the writer has become a lonesome figure with no social connectedness or function and the world itself seems to have lost its substance, sanity and reality. Should a writer write about the unreal world, now a world of private isolation and individual disorientation, and if he did so, would this be more than a mere amusement Belustigung for himself?
What effect would writing of this kind have on a reader or conversation partner if others were allowed to listen to such musings? Where would such a disconnected writer find valid material? Would he end up drinking one glass of Benedictine liqueur after the other to gain access to his rambling unconscious? And what form should such writing, for which the directedness and conclusiveness of a story could hardly be appropriate, take? But this is only one of the forms Kafka experiments with in these early still Impressionistic days. Beschreibung eines Kampfes.
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It is also his attempt to write in the Expressionist vein which was fashionable at the tiem. Unfortunately there is only a patched text available. The latter part of our text follows an early transcript, and the early chapters a later copy which may have been made and revised with a view to publication. But there are occasional switches to the earlier version where Brod felt they brought an improvement. The basic story is of two men who have met at an evening party and then go for a walk because one of them wants to confide in the other. This division is still further complicated by the various Roman and Arabic numerals and letters with the help of which Kafka tried to make his maze-like construction comprehensible to the reader.
Brod remarks on the similarity with school compositions which were required to be planned in this way. The framing story tells of a self-conscious, retiring, but also lonely young man, who is sitting more or less bored at a party eating biscuits and sipping liqueur when a casual acquaintance he met on the stairs going up approaches him to tell him about the amorous adventure he has just had with a servant girl.
With a mixture of embarrassment, consideration for the dignity of the other man, and a desire for companionship that is not free from the hope of gaining recognition and esteem in the eyes of another person, the young man suggests a walk to the Laurenziberg as the best time and place for confessions — and perhaps for cooling down too, for it is freezing outside and there is black ice on the roads.
But all that either of the men says, does or thinks seems to miss the other most of the dialogue is in any case only imaginary or strongly coloured by imagination , probably because in both men a selfish wish for relief or support is the prime motive. The narrator is tired, a little drunk, he is uneasy about the other man, the cold outside is stunning after the warm house, and before he reaches the bridge, that is early on in the walk, he has a fall in which he hurts his knee.
Tiredness and drunkenness let dreamlike visions rise; the cold and the dark act both as stimulants and impediments to normal spontaneity; nervousness and pain seem to activate a desire to escape. We have abnormal physical conditions favouring an upset of mental equilibrium which of course normally relies on a predominance of the conscious mind. He cannot engage them in conversation, nor can he really love or hate them or have meaningful intercourse with them, although he also seems to need them and depend on them for support.
Ist das eine Hitze! For the central figure, however, other human beings cannot be taken for granted. They tend to take on a wooden, or mechanical, or flimsy, or puppet-like appearance. Kafka is here using the imagery of Expressionism. But its effect is primarily illustrative and does not support his narrative as the animal images later will. He does not use it again. A series of quotations will show the persistence with which these images recur:.
BeK Auch die Kniescheibe hatte sich ein wenig gelockert. The women described seem to consist of little more than their dress. They are like glove puppets; the dress hides a non-existent body. BeK 7. Sie trug ein schwarzes Kleid, welches auf Schultern und Nacken aus durchsichtigen Spitzen bestand — der Halbmond des Hemdkragens lag unter ihnen — von deren unterem Rande die Seide in einem wohlgeschnittenen Kragen niederhing.
BeK 9. But she is an exception; love seems to be the only thing that can give life to people and make them seem real. A comparison with a silhouette of tissue-paper then extends the mechanical dress-puppet image:. Just as people become puppets, landscapes become theatrical scenery. This way of seeing live things as inanimate or subhuman and of seeing inanimate or natural things as more mobile, more subject to the human will than they really are, carries right through.
This is achieved by self-detachment with its possibilities of observing the self, particularly the dreaming self, and splitting oneself into imagined characters. The delirium is caused by a combination of drunkenness, tiredness and pain from the fall. In delirium, the mind remains partly conscious of its surroundings: there is the bridge with its statues, later the narrator is walking along a road, then the Laurenziberg with its straggling brushwork is in front of him, there is a moon in the sky, and then the wooded surroundings.
But much of the real surroundings are not seen, and much that is seen and experienced is not real: the flying, the circling around the statues, the logic of events. Natural events such as the falling of trees happen upon the command and according to the will of the narrator. The narrator does unlikely things like lying down on the moss when the ground is snow-covered , climbing a tree etc. But in each case, the mind calms itself again; the fears never grow to nightmares. He uses his acquaintance, who is completely at his mercy, as a horse, kicking him, boxing him, and choking him, and when his horse finally falls, hurting his knee as the narrator himself had done earlier abandons him and has him guarded by vultures.
It becomes more or less clear in the framing story that the narrator envies the acquaintance his girlfriend and his erotic experience with her. The motif of riding a horse is in folklore and dreams frequently a reference to sexuality. In folklore the horse frequently turns out to be a woman. A negative form of the wish-fulfilment dream is also described by Freud. Just as he is bowing his introduction to a young lady his leg starts falling apart. He sits down and tries to continue his elegant small-talk while unobtrusively pushing his joints back into place.
While he is taken up with a lengthy response to her remarks, she has suddenly walked off to talk to others. Here the element of wish-fulfilment becomes manifest. When he finally pushes the pianist aside and makes to play, two gentlemen carry him away on his seat. To a conscious mind, both the dreams we have discussed couple distortion with cruelty, first sadism, then masochism, a combination which seems to be characteristic of much in literature and the visual arts that we commonly call grotesque.
In these dreams, however, the good temper of the dreamer who knows his wishes catered for, bemantels the cruelty, and the shock, which characteristically accompanies the grotesque, misses us. If we look at the literature which seems to derive from such expiatory self-punishment dreams we find both. This seems to be the nature of fairytale. As in our real nightmares, there is in them no accompanying pleasure to comfort us. The hero passes through the cruel and distorted world quite unharmed, without ever being worried or upset by it, but also without the least ability to improve or alter it.
And in the end there seems to be a utopia waiting for him, just as distorted and uninviting as everything else. Seen in the light of such dreams, the intention and purpose of the novel Amerika seems to be to give us the feeling that things can and will never be as bad for us as they appear to be. Brod drew our attention to the fact that the image of the enormously fat man being carried on a wooden stretcher by servants goes back to a Japanese woodcut popular at the time and circulating on postcards.
This is corroborated by the fact that throughout the dream the narrator is the emotionally incolved but helpless spectator. What goes on has direct relevance to him, but its figurative nature prevents his intervention. One can cautiously interpret the symbols along the following lines. The fat man seems to be the thinker or philosopher. He is unwilling to let nature affect his senses and emotions, unwilling even to look at it properly, and resentful of the fact that he cannot for long escape looking at it because it takes revenge.
Bloated by knowledge spun out into endless thought, he has never become substantial because he has never had real contact with life. A gnat can pass through his body without interrupting its flight. He allows himself to be carried or supported by others, never putting his feet on the ground. When finally, as a concession to nature, he agrees to cross the river of time? We are reminded here of the narrator trying to gain support for his personality from his chance acquaintance.
It is clear that the dream characters are all versions of the narrator. After the destruction of the fat man, the dreamer turns to a more direct metaphoric interpretation of himself, now suggested once more by the physical state of his body. His hands like rainclouds vague and large and his legs which no longer stand on the earth, casting a shadow over the forests and villages, are suggestive of an unreal and insubstantial approach to life. They derive from tired limbs almost floating on air.
The megalomania of this cosmic image is straightway checked by another. The dreamer is now small, but he is rolling, he has lost control of himself and become like the stone at the centre of an avalanche, picking up everything in its way to hurl it to destruction, - he himself but the passive instrument of devastation. Interpreted symbolically, this is a dream full of self-recognition and insight; the self-condemnation is quite honest and unequivocal.
This is the level of the unconscious in which Silberer and Jung took such interest because they saw its relation to recurrent myth. Even leaving myth out of account, the general significance of these images is clear. A common motive for day-dreaming is the desire to develop ideas by expressing them to, and testing them on an imaginary partner.
Usually the ideas are made more vivid and attractive by being presented in live situations. Although the day-dreamer himself often does not actively participate in the day-dream, the characters he invents are as a rule not more than mouth-pieces for his own ideas and the usually not too serious doubts he has concerning them.
They seem to understand each other automatically, give way to each other all too readily. There are rarely more than two partners. At its best the day-dream can promote the birth of thought, as its worst it is an avoidance of real criticism, of perhaps unresolvable conflicts, of having to adjust to somebody else and tolerate him.
Du liebst ihn nicht und du hassest ihn auch nicht, [ In this day-dream the narrator, ostensibly the fat man, has taken over from the original narrator the rather vague desire for a more or less unattainable girl whom he admires from a distance as she prays in a corner of the church. The rather foolish jealousy of the original narrator is certainly glamorised and romanticised. The dreamer lingers for a while over these two successful inventions, putting difficulties in the way of the desired conversation. Die Spitze des Rathausturmes macht kleine Kreise.
Sieht es denn niemand? On the conscious level here examined, the mind has the greatest flexibility and diversity of styles. The piece begins with a meditation suggested by a feeling of unreality and insubstantiality. Why not compare it to something that at least looks like it and describe it as a strangely coloured forgotten paper lantern? But neither of these strategies enhance the reality of the moon. What sort of language can we use to make the moon seem real? Then, when the narrator actually meets the drunkard, pretence becomes the law of conversation.
The address to the drunkard that follows could conceivably have been ironic or satirical. Es ist nicht immer alles in Ordnung [ Once you surrender reality, almost anything could happen.
The characteristic failing of the narrator — his inability to achieve contact with other people, to share a reality with them — is again a factor. Wit and irony can be effective only when they refer closely to mutually accepted realities. Where these no longer exist, absurdity is the best that can be achieved.
In the presentation Kafka gives, and this seems to be fairly accurately observed, the symbolic unconscious on the one hand and the fully conscious mind on the other, are the least random in their explorations and offer the greatest chances of penetration, the greatest range, and the greatest generality. The conscious level seems suitable primarily for those who have an open mind for the world around them and not for those who tend to withdraw into a world of their own.
The logical consequences which Kafka whom we may class with the introverted without identifying him with his narrator drew for himself as a writer, was that the unconscious symbolic level carried for minds such as his the greatest promise. Though the realization may not have been in the nature of a clear-cut decision, it would almost certainly have occurred to him in the course of this early search for a genre and a style. Finally, we should perhaps try to assess this early work as a literary artefact. In content it is, as we have seen, an intricate philosophical examination of the nature of reality and the implications the widespread loss of a sense of the real has for a twentieth century communicator such as a writer.
The labyrinthine structure of the text reflects this futile search and though this is artistically appropriate, it is tiring and confusing for a reader. Perhaps Kafka hoped that by introducing his text with a stanza of verse would help readers onto the right track. Und die Menschen gehn in Kleidern. Schwankend auf dem Kies spazieren. It is worrying to think that apparently normal and happy people walk around with a knife in their pocket and may well use it to injure themselves if they should happen to encounter people like the narrator.
Kafka was obviously aware that his pessimistic view of life could easily become a danger for other people. Perhaps it is as just well that it is unlikely many of his less serious readers would have persevered with this text. All were written in the years between and At first sight only a common atmosphere of loneliness, intensified by the feeling that the things described are all seen through the same eyes seem to combine these pieces. Most importantly, it is the search for the conditions that lead to such brief revelations, the external and the psychological, as offering the key to an evaluation of the reality or truth such heightened moments can have.
Still greater intensity is achieved when the child begins to project its own physical sensations onto the landscape. Birds rise up as in a single breath, it seems not they are rising but he is falling; as the air becomes cooler, shivering stars appear. There is no apparent coherence in the enumerated details but as is characteristic of Impressionism, the need of the eye or the imagination to create links takes the flatness out of the picture and gives it the dimension of life.
A little later, the exaggerated and irresponsible use to which children put words creates an intense response, conjuring up a premonition of adult despair. Then the life of make-believe begins, closely linked with sensations, above all of tiredness. It gains the upper hand when fairytale is taken literally, and the child sets off alone through the night to find the legendary village in the south where people need no sleep because they are fools. With this, the threads that run between man and nature are abruptly severed. The somatic origins of such experiences reveal themselves and legend is traced to jocular adult irony.
An impression of beauty, but quite divorced from any abiding sense of security or truth, remains. But the smile has no intrinsic meaning; different people will be awakened by different things. Here we have apparently found a more permanent form of intense living, but the undertone of irony that intrudes when physical details hinter die Schenkel sich schlagend come too close to elevated feelings, is disturbing. We can not take this momentary and wilful manifestation of determination seriously.
Tomorrow the self will feel as vague as before. The will makes fine resolutions but the unavoidable little mistakes build up a negative intensity that spoils all. The life conjured up by language ends up being imaginary and unreal. The typical traits of many bachelors are amalgamated and under the domination of the resultant idea of bachelorhood, the self is in danger of losing himself.
Perhaps the fleeting and idiosyncratic sensations of Impressionism are preferable after all. The nervousness and excitement induced by the worries of business life evoke for moments imaginary states akin to hallucinations. These are intensified when supported by the physical sensation of weightlessness that the elevator arouses and the vision of the self splitting when confronted by its mirror image. There is no logic or aim in the overwrought images that arise on these flights of fancy, only magical beauty that comes with a burst of emotion.
The moment the lift stops, all is back to normal. The rush and speed, the intensity of spring, but also its transitoriness seem embodied in the word. For moments, superficial external reality will seem to foreshadow or echo an internal hope or vision. But it is a mere coincidence. The moment passes as quickly as it has come. The atmosphere after a thunderstorm has powers of persuasion. But the moment the narrator enters his house, the mood goes and cannot be revived: another transitory and therefore misleading form of intense experience.
It is mesmerized by observation and rejects the hackneyed presumption of pursuit, which would have been the only thing that could have led to quick and effective action. Why must it always be a case of pursuit? The moral that might be abstracted is that the observing, impressionist mind, always in search of experiences to be savoured, misses their significance when there is a real life emergency.
Aware of this and worried by it, he suddenly encounters all he himself seems to lack in an unknown young woman who happens to be travelling on the tram with him. The details of her appearance, important to him because they seem to corroborate his impression of the perfect organic whole she represents, appear to us irrelevant and meaningless. By some strange alchemy she has become a screen for his own desires. As party dresses that are never changed gradually lose their beauty, so faces always desiring to be seen at their most beautiful gradually become shabby.
Beauty as a visual impression subject to the ravages of time is fleeting. These block out reality. For better or worse, the two people miss each other. So this is what the poet achieves by recording beauty. The distinction of being the winner of the race and officially proclaimed as such invites all kinds of embarrassing misunderstandings. Signs and tokens tend to be out of sync with real life.
Letters of Note: Father, you asked me recently why I am afraid of you
The celebrated moment is past long before they can be awarded. The framing window upon the world is another device to collect what is momentary and shifting into some sort of picture. A window can awaken event the dullest mind to momentary enthusiasm. E47f But the horses and carriages move on and their observation is likely to leave little of substance. But desire strong enough to give rise to such a vision is again a momentary experience, nothing more than a transitory respite from the burdens of daily life.
Trees in the snow look as though they were resting there, smooth surface on smooth surface, and could simply be pushed aside. In reality, of course, they are firmly rooted in the ground. But that too is an illusion. Humans are like these trees. There is no guarantee that what we think we know about ourselves is true because our observations are utterly unreliable. Consequently a literature based on observations, like Impressionism, is unlikely to give us real insights. It describes the appearance of a ghost, - a real ghost!
The self, who neither believes in ghosts nor has any interest in this particular half-grown male ghost, does not know what to think of it or do with it and the conversation they have is inane. All the same, the self is possessive about its ghost; it is an oddity it has discovered and which it feels owns and does not want to surrender.
In our modern age, the supernatural has lost its power. Ghosts, traditionally reputed to be an invariable source of fear and horror, no longer arouse the slightest emotional reaction. It is perhaps the loss of the supernatural that has driven modern people to search out and value the small sensations Impressionism specializes in; but they cannot make people happy.
Betrachtung is an exploration and ultimately demasking of Impressionism, one of the styles on offer in that era of loss of faith and purpose. Their significance is merely personal and momentary and a literature that makes much of them has given up the search for real meaning in life.
So Betrachtung becomes indirectly an argument for consistent and probing subjectivism, though Kafka as yet cannot envisage it. It is perhaps significant for an understanding of the relationship between Max Brod and Kafka that Brod, to whom the collection is dedicated, seems to have seen the beauty rather than the spuriousness of its celebration of transitoriness. However, he completely undermines the basic principles of that style by refusing to give his characters, in particular his hero Karl Rossmann, a psychological dimension.
The assumption of the validity of probability and causality, as laws to be relied upon, is likewise proved wrong and as a cause or effect of this, perhaps both, what are normally the guidelines of human behaviour, namely moral principles and practical efficiency, no longer serve a purpose. He is given the democratic right to speak and be heard.
On a closer look, this right is not accorded impartially but primarily to impress the Senator. It is then wasted by the Stoker, who is not intelligent and clear-minded enough to put it to good use, instead quite innocently abusing the privilege and wasting valuable time. But in the judges the desire to be free of the stoker outweighs rationality and the sense of justice.
All that freedom of speech has led to is waste of time and re-establishment of the former state of affairs, namely, freedom of the privileged. Rescued from the chaos of the masses by his wealthy uncle, Senator Jakob, Karl enjoys the leisure of the rich and is free to prepare himself for his life in Amerika. But when a friend of his Uncle extends an invitation to visit him in his home, in other words to get to know the Amerikan way of life a bit better and practise his English as well, it becomes clear that with the Uncle conscientiousness has become self-defeating rigour.
A single evening is more than the Uncle is willing to allow Karl in the way of time off. Leisure, or in other words time in which one is free to do as one wishes, becomes meaningless without a sense of proportion. People either regiment themselves and others or they dissipate their freedom as do Delamarche, Robinson and Brunelda. In the hands of dehumanized men, any kind of freedom become illusory.
In fact, where human beings are involved, there is little difference between apparent freedom and apparent obedience to commands. Can we draw the conclusion that capitalist democracy and dictatorship, both based on dehumanized society, have more in common than distinguishes them? Much as the novel itself is but a row of episodes, our interpretation too can do little more than give a list of observed facts.
His exaggeratedly high standard of living is self-defeating, for in his enormous house the essentials — light, furniture, comfort — are missing. On the whole, we must be content to continue listing observed instances of the breakdown of the social foundation. Freedom becomes almost unbearable chaos in the dormitory of the lift-boys, which seems to be governed by no rules whatever.
Similarly, the right to vote, being freedom to take an active part in determining the fate of the nation, becomes a mere farce as a result of political campaigning with all its stunts. The tiny candidate on the shoulders of his supporters, uncontrollably swayed by the masses, caught occasionally in a beam of light which would, incidentally, more than blind him and that is then almost immediately extinguished by the violence of those supporting a rival candidate, has symbolic significance.
To clinch our realization of the absurdity of the electoral machinery, the student informs us that this candidate, though he has not the least chance of success, is particularly capable. Simultaneously with the breakdown of freedom comes the breakdown of justice. We have observed it in the case of the Stoker and the political candidate. On returning, he finds that his absence has been discovered. He is called to account before a panel of judges constituted of the malicious Head Doorman, the comparatively sober but suspicious Head Waiter, and the well disposed Manageress, who seems to have the decisive word.
Here we experience the breakdown of any logic based on causality. The goodness of a forgiving nature on the part of the Manageress, and uninhibited and unchecked sadism on the part of the Head Doorman hold sway. If the world is a mixture of the kind and unkind, justice certainly has little part in it. Somewhat later, we are still more outraged when Karl, who had from a sense of decency accompanied the mock invalid, Robinson, home and paid for the taxi, is made responsible for excess fees which the taxi driver demands.
When he cannot pay them, and has no identification papers, having lost them in the tussle with the Head Doorman, he is to be arrested and taken back to the hotel for further questioning. And again the policeman is doing nothing but his duty as decently and honestly as he can. But in a society where mechanical logic is given greater credence than the word of the individual, injustice is the necessary consequence.
There are obviously such things as good luck. While the human in man can never be extinguished sufficiently to make him an efficient machine, it can be warped to such an extent as to make him a bad human being. That a dehumanized conception of efficiency is self-defeating is demonstrated by the utter confusion prevailing in the enormous dining-room of the Hotel Occidental. In the prevailing dissolution, Karl is the only one who completely preserves his integrity and with it his sense of the human and his sense of situation. Even the Manageress and Therese are not infallible here, and if we observe things carefully, it is the moment in which the erotic enters that veils the clarity of their vision and intentions.
Karl alone, paradoxically deported for a sexual offence, at no stage falls victim to the demon of sex. The servant girl, Klara, Therese, and last but not least Brunelda, who epitomizes sexual dissolution, can none of them provoke him to even an impure thought. Karl is, of course, still a boy and the end of the novel shows him in happy friendship with another boy of his age.
But what happens when maturity is reached? Here the novel knows no answer and the problem accompanies Kafka through all his writing. It is in its way as symbolist as the rest of the novel and to interpret it fully one must take the images beyond their emotional range. The otherworldliness of religion and the insubstantiality of art were here fused to a philosophy which regarded life as a game, a disguise, a pretence in view of the reality to be found in a life beyond.
Everything takes place in the open air or under slight shelter. The home of the Naturetheatre is Oklahoma, the wild west state of cowboys and Indians. We can expect an intensification of the natural once the theatre group nears home, probably of the kind suggested by the view from the train window: . Am ersten Tag fuhren sie durch ein hohes Gebirge. In Oklahoma we can obviously expect the full concentration of natural beauty, grandeur and force. As the sports oval is for the city dweller the first step towards a natural life, so the recruiting troup and what it represents may be seen to embody what attracts the layman in art.
Whether the angels and devils are to suggest that the Naturetheatre will serve as a compensation for lost religion, or ironically hint that its utopia can only be found in an afterlife when one has stepped over the barrier between either angels or devils and innocent Karl would naturally cross while the angels are on duty , remains open to question. It is quite possible that we do right to listen to such ironic overtones. In one sense we can assume that each will play the part he is naturally intended to play in life, by birth, training, ability and personal preference, in much the way that in the old theatre of the world the king acted the king and the beggar the beggar.
But another order seems to show up beneath this. Is one to deduce from this that Karl, in the name of his author, is not interested in making a fine show of his life, but instead is concerned with strengthening the structures that support and further life? Money is apparently not paid out but all men are catered for. This is in keeping with the socialist ideals of the young Zionist pioneers, in whose plans and activities Kafka was interested. For the sake of adequate organization, men owe obedience to whoever is in charge. Here there are no dictators. When the views of those in charge are too narrow, the secretary is given a say in the matter, as is the case when Karl is accepted in spite of the misgivings of the man in control.
Irregularities such as lost identification papers and pseudonyms are not encouraged but not given undue importance either. Speed and efficiency are there not for their own sake but to extend leisure times, in this case meal-time. All this is of course hardly more than an indication of a workable social order, but it does do to offset the chaotic state of affairs the rest of the novel had described. It appears that here a team of idealistic workers, ready to help wherever the need arises is envisaged.
We read such things as:. Kein Geld, keine Kostbarkeiten besitzen oder annehmen […]. Nur durch Arbeit den Lebensunterhalt erwerben [ H f. Trust, a genuinely ethical approach to work and your fellow man, poverty within the limits of the acceptable, security at all times, plenty of leisure, seem common to both social orders. The others fall more or less flat for lack of symbolic depth, psychological intricacy, and visualization of unfamiliar scenes. It was a decision clearly made by a mature Kafka who believed that all psychology was mere impatience, a temporary solution of a premature question.
The last chapter then already points to the later Kafka in that it is the first instance of parable of the type of the Landarzt stories, though far simpler and emotionally less convincing than these. Here as later, Kafka uses parable to present problems in a general but concrete way, thus avoiding limiting and often confusing individual situations as well as the simplifications and distortions of theory. Amerika is a realist novel on the way to becoming a parabolic novel and therewith vintage Kafka.
We quoted the diary passage in which Kafka described the night of inspiration which gave birth to the story, and what this meant for him. As a result, the interpreter faces certain problems. The story has a unique symbolic wealth which places it in the vicinity of archetypal dreams and of myth. It also has, like our best dreams, a multiple biographic reference.
Steinberg is probably right in conjecturing that:. These problems were the father problem in its connection with the problem of Jewish religion, the problem of the artist, and the bachelor-marriage problem. The first has been emphasized by Steinberg, the second by Kate Flores  , and the third by Politzer . Sokel  has succeeded in giving a fuller view of their interrelation. Das Urteil is ambivalent, in the same way that the parable Silberer treats in his book Probleme der Mystik is ambivalent, and can be given various interpretations.
It is also ambivalent in the sense that a situation cut out of the context of life is ambivalent because its connections with other situations cannot be fully investigated. Das Urteil is not ambivalent in the sense that Das Schloss is, where a closed circuit has been achieved and the questions rotate within the work of art.
An intrinsic interpretation is meaningful only where the form has adequately separated the material from life. In the process of such a separation, the originally biographical material will necessarily suffer distortion which in turn will render such material unsuitable for biographical investigation. When we speak of these ideas, we must stress again that these are the ideas the stories most probably conveyed to Kafka. In themselves, the stories are open to a great many interpretations, as we hope to show in our analysis. Investigating this will contribute to our appreciation of the story as literature only insofar as it will show us that at least one consistent interpretation is possible.
We tried to explain in Part I why such a form could be congenial to Kafka. Yet all mental and spiritual perfection can only be achieved by making the best possible use of the body. According to Kafka, a healthy and strong body was the prerequisite of a healthy and strong mind. So man is in a quandary. In mounting the stairs of evolution, man must take his body with him otherwise he falls out of the reach of life into the nothingness of a mechanical, lifeless, inhuman existence.
What can man do, placed in this situation? Whenever mankind has found itself in a situation that offered no way out, some sacrifice has been necessary. It is the possibilities of personal sacrifice that the three works of this group investigate. To justify the fact that we have spoken of the essential ambiguity of these works, of their personal significance for Kafka, and of the uncertainty of whether Kafka consciously understood this while writing, we might again draw the parallel with dream. A recounted dream that has not been understood by the dreamer will in general seem completely ambiguous to the unbiased listener.
To the dreamer himself it will offer up its meaning if he searches for it long enough. According to our interpretation, unconscious writing has here the qualities of dream. The inspired and as yet not fully understanding writer might be imagined as using his artistry to leave open all channels of understanding for himself too, so as not to lose the true meaning which he feels the dream vision must contain.
It is quite possible that at this stage Kafka created ambiguity less to withhold disturbing personal convictions from the reader  than to aid his own understanding. Das Urteil. She realizes that if the friendship is not going to be actively renewed, as would be necessary in view of the completely changed situation marriage creates, and instead rely only on memories of the past, there will always in some way be a conflict between family and business interests on the one hand and past loyalties on the other.
Either live the myth of friendship or take the road to success, which is inevitably one with muddy patches. But the important thing, as Frieda suggests, is by what rules you are trying to live and that you abide by them consistently. This, however, is what Georg is not prepared to do. It is clear that the friend will not return to his home town permanently and it would be wrong to suggest this to him.
He does not even seem prepared to come back for a visit, for his excuses are hardly persuasive. The friend is also unsuccessful with women and has apparently resigned himself to being a permanent bachelor. Obviously there is therefore no basis for active friendship any more. Georg writes the letter. But he is still not confident enough to post it without at least informing his father before he does so. That suggests that in spite of all he has apparently achieved, Georg has not yet completely emancipated himself from the childhood world in which his father is the one and only authority and in which myth is at home.
This is a static world, a world of closed windows, rooms darkened and protected by high walls, of souvenirs of the dead and newspapers long outdated, a world of fairytale and myth, of giants and gods. They had met in the office during business hours and had read their current newspapers together of an evening. But now on a Sunday morning, when business rests and the timeless traditionally takes precedence over the temporal, Georg leaves the ground of everyday life to meet the father in his room.
And again Georg refuses to understand the question and to commit himself. He implies by what he says that he has a friend in Petersburg, and yet tries to show by all else he says and does that he is fully committed to the real everyday business world. He reminds his father of past meetings with this friend. But then he goes on to reprimand him for leading such an unhealthy life, suggest that he should in future eat his breakfast, change his underwear more frequently, rest more, air the room or, better still, move to a sunny room. As the father interprets it, Georg has betrayed his friend, the memory of his mother, and most of all the father himself.
The solicitous bedding of the father takes on the meaning of first treating him like a child, then wanting to bury him with the dead. But then how are we to understand the ending? Is this sensible and responsible young man actually going to allow himself to be driven to suicide by an old madman within about half an hour of entering the room? Has Georg, in spite of what we thought of him, so little inner stability? On what plane of reality are we to see the father episode? There is a suggestion, so slight that probably most readers would not notice it, that the second part of the story could be a dream in which the timeless and preconscious realities of symbol, myth and religiousness find expression.
Before Georg goes over to his father with the letter, he sits pensively at his desk for a while. The solution here is not ideal, perhaps because the dream suggestion is too weak as compared with the continuity of the action. Most readers seem puzzled by the story. The moral of the story would become: go and have yourself psychoanalysed as soon as possible. This seems definitely not what Kafka wanted to say. Es scheint mehr bestimmt stolpern zu machen, als begangen zu werden. Are you expected to use the rope as a path, as a tightrope, so to speak, or are you expected to step over the rope and continue on an ordinary path?
You cannot do both. The rope and the path must run at right angles to each other, just as the river and the bridge. And they run on different levels. The paradox is expanded in another aphorism:. By flying through the sky the crows prove that the sky is not heaven. Actually, it needs only a single crow to prove this.
On the other hand, the existence of a symbolic or otherworldly heaven would disprove the existence of the crow, for while the real crow can fly through the sky, it can not fly in a heaven unless it has become a symbolic crow too. With time it is much the same:. This brings us closer to our story.
In the world of time, of everyday reality, the judgment comes at the end of a life or at the end of time. In the timeless symbolic world it is just there. Sin does not come about on a certain day but is there from the moment life has begun and leads to inevitable judgment. The idea that timeless and temporal worlds coexist is one of the important keys to an understanding of the story. To discover the meaning the story probably had for Kafka, we will have to struggle through the many possible interpretations that can be given to the symbols. They should make the essential ambiguity of the story amply clear, if the many interpretations it has been given have not already done so.
To return to the image of the two ways. At the end of the story the fall from the bridge — which could be seen both as punitive execution like the original Fall of Man and self-sacrifice — coincides with the crossing of the vehicle that safely conveys people over the eternal river. The noise of the Auto-omnibus drowns the Fall. It is clear that we are speaking of principles of action and not suggesting that Georg be identified with Christ. As Georg falls, there is a free flow of traffic across the bridge; life and movement is suggested.
But Kafka apparently mentioned to Brod that he had also intended his phrase to suggest uninhibited sexual intercourse taking place. The mother-figure is missing in Jewish-Christian religion, which knows only the male divinity. Georg here gives her equal love with the father, who had earlier accused Georg of defiling the memory of his mother by his attitude to his bride. At first sight it seems paradoxical that a rehabilitation of sexuality should demand the surrender of marriage.
We shall return later to the question of what is actually meant here. One of his responsibilities is not to give up the friend in Petersburg are we to take the name as an allusion to the church of St. The death of the mother is, in keeping with his Christian spirituality, of little consequence to the friend. But what actually does it mean to drown yourself in the river?
The answer here is not straightforward. On the religious level the sacrifice envisaged could be baptism, which is symbolic purification, death and resurrection in Christ, culminating in the entering of the Holy Spirit into the body. Another possible allusion is to introversion. Silberer writes:. Die Introversion Aufsuchen des Uterus oder des Grabes ist eine notwendige Voraussetzung der Wiedergeburt oder Auferstehung; und diese ist eine notwendige Voraussetzung der mystischen Erschaffung des neuen Menschen. The following words ascibed to the Hassidic Rabbi Pinchas describe introversion within the Jewish faith:.
Gestalt ausziehn, Gestalt antun, das geschieht im Augenblick des reinen Nichts. Death, sleep, unconsciousness, submersion leading to purification and redemption seem to be interchangeable images for something summed up in the theology of baptism and purification, as in the psychology of introversion. Though the mystic way has the irrevocable earnestness of martyrdom, it will in general not invo lve death literally. The dream ending in ecstasy to relieve an earlier claustrophobia can represent it.
The claustrophobic sensation of being locked in a phial, or a furnace, or a close room is an essential stage in the mystic process. It appears that writing this story was of the nature of a mystic experience for Kafka. This is a time the pious Jew spends in the Temple or Synagogue. There are indications that Kafka was aware of this festival time and conscious of its significance. In an interview with Rudolf Steiner, Kafka describes his moments of inspired writing as being similar to the clairvoyant states Steiner had discussed, but says at the same time that Theosophy, though it attracted him, was more inclined to confuse than help him, for writing was his only true interest.
In consequence, writing and religion remain separate though parallel forces throughout his life.
What course of action, then, does the story suggest? On the whole, Kafka seemed to follow this programme, though he did not finally give up the bride till and probably never quite succeeded in befriending his father. In view of this, it is not surprising that years later Kafka still stresses the tremendous importance the story had for him as a breakthrough.
Die Verwandlung. The story of Georg told of a man drowning in the sacred river of dream, symbol or the unconscious. It is not the first time we encounter the beetle image in Kafka.
Kafka had not yet plumbed the depths of the human mind nor faced the complexity of human volition. In this inhuman world, the more consciencious one is, the more one is degraded to being a mere object; the fact that Gregor has never been ill in his five years of service to the firm is taken as proof against the genuineness of any future such claim; good will and diligence are seen only in the light of mechanical efficiency.
Haben Sie eine Krankenversicherung? Leiden Sie unter…? What s Wrong? After your visit to the doctor, you may want to call your friends and relatives and give them a detailed description of your illness. Most maladies can be expressed with the verb haben. They take the verb sein, followed by an adjective. Ich bin krank. Page Doctor, Doctor On alternate days, you are beleaguered by different illnesses. Use what you ve learned to express your symptoms to a doctor. Example: a toothache Answer: Ich habe Zahnschmerzen.
Among the many questions your nurse or doctor will ask you will be, Seit wann haben Sie diese Krankheit zayt vAn hah-buhn zee dee-zuh kRAnk-hayt? Don t forget that the prepositional phrase following the preposition seit requires the dative case.
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Example: Seit einer Woche. For a week. What Are You Doing to Yourself? The sich in front of this verb is known as a reflexive pronoun, because it refers back to the subject. Du kaufst dir ein Medikament. Page Do you see the difference? The second person singular reflexive pronoun it s a mouthful, we know, but there s no other way of putting it in the first sentence appears in the accusative case. Because in the first sentence, the reflexive pronoun serves as a direct object.
The second person singular reflexive pronoun in the second sentence appears in the dative case. In the second sentence it serves as an indirect object. Reflexive or Not? Sometimes it is unclear from the English verb whether the German verb will be reflexive. For this reason it is best to familiarize yourself with common reflexive verbs in German. Then talk about the things you do before going to bed at night. Remember, when you use the formal second person singular or plural, you must always include Sie as part of the command: Waschen Sie sich!
Wascht euch! Ziehe dich an! Be Bossy You re traveling with a group of friends and you re all getting ready to go out, to go nuts, to paint the town red and blue and green and orange. Practice using reflexive verbs by telling a friend and then two or more friends to do and then not to do the following: 1. For starters, use the conjugated form of the verb. Page Chapter 23 I Think I Forgot Something In Chapter 22, you learned how to express discomfort and pain, but what happens if the aches and pains you re experiencing are too minor to merit the attention of a doctor? If you have a headache, a sore throat, or a hangover, you ll probably want to try to soothe yourself without the trouble or the expense of a medical examination.
Why not visit your local Apotheke ah-poh-tek , or pharmacy? Even if you re not someone who packs light when he travels, you are probably going to find that there is something you left at home: aspirin, shaving cream, or hand lotion. In this chapter you ll learn how to purchase products at a German pharmacy, and while you re at it, you ll be introduced to the past tense. Page From Finding Drugs to Finding Toothpaste Whether it s medication you re looking for or a can of hair spray, you want to be sure you re looking in the right place.
You can find most of the items in Table Special Needs Did you break your leg skiing? Do you need a wheelchair? There are many pharmacies in Germany that specialize in medical appliances. Start by asking the pharmacist: Wo kann ich ein -e, -en …bekommen? What items do you need to ensure that you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet? Example: to freshen breath Answer: Ich brauche Mundwasser. So far, you ve been dealing with all this stuff in the present tense. Imagine now that, after purchasing. You don t realize this until a taxi has driven you halfway home.
What do you do now? You must, of course, go back to the pharmacy and tell the person behind the counter someone new, the person who was there earlier has stepped out for lunch what happened. To do this you will have to use the past tense, known in German as die Vergangenheit dee feR-gAn-gen-hayt. There are a number of different ways you can speak in the past tense. This chapter focuses on the formation of das Perfekt, the most common way of speaking in the past in German. Strong Verbs. You already have a head start on the formation of the perfect tense in German.
English and German form the perfect tense in much the same way. The only hitch is, some verbs in German use the verb to be sein as an auxiliary: Ich bin gegangen I have gone. Page The important thing to remember is that once you learn how to form the past participle, you won t have any trouble speaking in the past. The past participle never changes. Only the auxiliary verbs haben and sein change to agree with the subject. So how is the past participle formed? Many past participles take ge- at the beginning of the verb when you re dealing with verbs with separable prefixes, however, the ge- comes after the separable prefix in the formation of the past participle.
All strong verbs have a past participle ending in -en. Do you remember strong verbs from Chapter 9? The main difference between strong and weak verbs is that strong verbs usually have a vowel change in one of their principals parts: third person singular, present; simple past; past participle. English verbs follow this pattern too: sing, sang, sung in German, singen, sang, gesungen.
Think of strong verbs as verbs so stubborn that they insist on having their own way. There are patterns of vowel changes that these verbs follow, but it would probably take you longer to memorize these patterns than to memorize the past participle for the strong verbs you use. Our advice to you? Start memorizing.
In the following list, hat means that the auxiliary verb is haben and ist means that it is sein. Infinitive Third Person Sing. See if you can get a feel for how it s done: Sie hat ihre Schlaftabletten genommen. Du bist zur Drogerie gegangen. As you can see, to form the Perfekt with strong verbs, all you have to do is conjugate haben correctly and add ge- to the beginning of the strong verb in its altered past-participle form. Page Forming the Past Participle with Weak Verbs The difference between the formation of the Perfekt with strong and weak verbs is that the past participles of weak verbs end in -t.
For this reason, when you are forming a past participle, it s important to know whether the verb is weak or strong. Gegangen is a strong verb. Weak verbs were discussed in Chapter 9. Weak verbs, when conjugated, follow a set pattern of rules and retain the same stem vowel throughout the conjugation. Here are some common weak verbs and their past participles: Infinitive Third Person Sing. They add the -t ending to form their past participle, just as weak verbs do, but—like strong verbs—the stem vowel of the infinitive changes in the past tense.
Here is a list of the infinitives and past participles of some common mixed verbs. Page Infinitive Third Person Sing. There are, however, some commonly used verbs that use sein you are already familiar with some of them. These are generally intransitive verbs that almost always express motion or a change of condition. Familiarize yourself with the past participles of the most commonly used of these verbs: Infinitive Third Person Sing. Answer: Ich bin zur Drogerie gekommen. With verbs that take haben, nicht comes after the direct object.
Nicht always precedes the past participle. Ich bin nicht in die Drogerie gegangen. Ich habe meine Vitamine nicht genommen. Sie hat das Rezept nicht gelesen. Er ist nicht nach Hause gefahren. Did You or Didn t You? Sometimes it seems like there just aren t enough hours in the day! Want to get depressed? When you get home this evening try counting off the things you weren t able to get done, and the stuff you didn t remember to buy.
Explain what you and your friends didn t manage to get done today in the following exercise. To ask questions in the past tense, you can use intonation. To do this, just speak with a rising inflection. Du hast an die Reise gedacht? Another way of asking questions is by adding the word oder oh-duhR or the phrase nicht wahr niHt vahR to the end of your statements: Du hast an die Reise gedacht, oder?
Du hast an die Reise gedacht, nicht wahr? The most common way of forming questions is by reversing the word order of the subject nouns or pronouns and the conjugated form of the verb this is called inversion : Du bist nach Hause gegangen. Bist du nach Hause gegangen? Answering a Question Negatively in the Past Are you in a disagreeable mood? To answer negatively, use nein nayn at the beginning of the statement, and then follow the auxiliary verb with nicht niHt. Remember, both questions and answers in the past usually end with the past participle.
Page Haben Sie geraucht? Ask Questions Why was the party so bad? Why did the plane refuel? Why did your mother say what she said? Why did so and so lose his job? Never mind that it s none of your business. Form negative and affirmative questions in the past out of the following sentences. Example: Du bist nach Berlin gefahren. Answers: Bist du nach Berlin gefahren? Bist du nicht nach Berlin gefahren? Ihr seid zum Friseur gegangen. Sie haben den Hustensaft getrunken. Du hast an die Einkaufstasche gedacht. Uli hat geraucht. You re feeling better than you have in a long time.
Your headache is gone thanks to the aspirin you purchased in the previous chapter. Now you re ready to do the one thing you ve been postponing since you arrived at your hotel: calling the folks back home. Those used to the American phone system will find calling home from Germany a challenge. First, there s the problem of finding a post office where you can purchase a phone card, because most phone booths small gray glass booths every few blocks on city streets no longer accept coins.
Then you have to figure out whether to lift the receiver first or whether to insert the phone card first. You ll probably find yourself needing operator assistance even to make a local call, and calling long distance can be quite an adventure until you get the hang of it. This chapter teaches you how to place a local or international call from a German, Swiss, or Austrian city, and how to deal with wrong numbers and other problems you may encounter when dealing with the phone system. Along the way, you ll also learn about using reflexive verbs in the past tense. Page How the! Do I Use This Thing?
Before you even get near a phone booth, be prepared for something new. Expect the procedure you will use to make local and long-distance calls to be different from the one you re used to. The best case scenario really would be for you to find someone to walk and talk you through the procedure. If you need to make an operator-assisted call, you ll have to learn to identify the type of call you re trying to make.
To be able to understand what she s saying, you ll have to familiarize yourself with the parts ofa German phone and these other helpful words. If you re calling from a hotel, be prepared to pay your phone bill in blood—hotels are infamous for the exorbitant rates they charge for long-distance calls. The more economical thing to do would be to purchase a phone card these can be purchased at a post office.
The magnetic strip, similar to the strip on credit cards, will enable you to use phone booths around the city. In Germany, information for local calls is ; for calls in Europe dial ; for the German operator, dial ; and for the long-distance operator, dial Remember, it s cheaper to make calls on weekends and after 8 p. Phone Home You ve been trying to make a long-distance call, and you can t get through. The operator asks you what you ve been doing, and you explain the problem.
Answer: Das Telefon hat oft geklingelt. Es war besetzt. Page Who Is This? You ve read the lists, you ve memorized the verbs, you ve studied the vocabulary. Can you put what you ve learned into practice? Winfried: Hallo, hier ist Winfried. Kann ich bitte mit Uli sprechen? Es tut mir leid. Er ist nicht zu Hause. Winfried: Wann kann ich ihn erreichen? Winfried: Nein, danke. Operator, I m Having a Serious Problem There are many problems you can run into when you re making a phone call. You may dial the wrong number, there may be a never-ending busy signal, or you may continue to get the sound of a machine when it s a person you re trying to connect with.
Here are some samples of phrases you may hear or be in a position to say when you run into rough times on the phone. I must have dialed the wrong number. Page Wir wurden unterbrochen. Diese Telefonleitung wurde abgestellt. Da ist ein Rauschen in der Leitung. Ich kann Sie akustisch nicht verstehen. Er meldet sich nicht. What Did You Do to Yourself? Reflexive Verbs in the Past Were you unable to phone someone who was expecting your call?
You ll probably have to give the person a reason. All reflexive verbs use haben as an auxiliary verb in the present perfect. Page To form the negative with reflexive verbs, nicht follows the reflexive pronoun. Er hat sich nicht gemeldet. Excuses, Excuses Tell what these people were doing when the phone was ringing. Faxes, modems, e-mail, and the Internet have spread their tentacles far and wide.
In the previous chapter, you learned all about phones. Not only do you now know how to make local and long-distance calls, you also know how to explain your difficulties to the operator if a problem arises. Making too many long-distance calls can be expensive, so you re probably going to want to do most of your communicating by mail. You may even want to send gifts or large packages. By the end of this chapter, you ll know how to send registered and special delivery letters air mail or, by surface, if you re trying to save money.
Should you make pen pals overseas, you ll learn how to write basic facts in letters and how to describe activities in which you re participating. Will My Letter Get There? Now you re dying to get to a cafe where you can sit down and whip off a few postcards telling friends and family what you ve done. Page You spend a couple of hours writing your own postal masterpieces. Now you want to be sure that everything you ve written reaches its destination. Whatever you send by the Deutsche Bundespost doy-chuh boont-es-post will, of course, get to wherever it s going the German postal system is famous worldwide for its efficiency.
The question is, how soon will it get there? Of course, speed has its price. Regular letters cost anywhere from 2 DM to 4 DM. But let s start with the basics. Before you do any letter or postcard writing, you re going to want to know how to ask for paper, envelopes, and other items. Briefmarken ayn boh-guhn bReef-mAR-kuhn a sheet of stamps Getting Service You ve written your letter, folded it, doused it with perfume, and scribbled your return address and the address of your beloved on the envelope.
Now all you have to do is find a mailbox. Of course, different kinds of letters and packages require different kinds of forms and have different postal rates. It s important that you know how to ask for the type of service you need: Was kostet das Porto? Wieviel wiegt dieser Brief? Wann wird der Brief ankommen? Wie lange dauert es, bis der Brief ankommt? Page At the Post Office You asked someone where the nearest post office was, but you forgot to ask her what it looked like.
Nevertheless, after wandering around the Platz for a few minutes, you ve finally found it. It has a yellow sign in front of it with black letters that say BP Post. Go inside and ask what the airmail rates are for the United States. Then ask what it would cost to send a letter special delivery. Next ask for half a dozen stamps. I Want to Send a Telegram Of course, there are times when a letter just doesn t get there fast enough. You ve met a German count and you re having a whirlwind wedding. Or perhaps you ve just found out you re pregnant and your husband is in a Buddhist retreat where phones are not permitted.
Maybe you re going to visit an old friend in two or three days, and all you have is her address. What do you do? When time is of the essence, send a telegram. Wie hoch ist der Tarif pro Wort? Wo gibt es die Formulare? Readin and Writin When you re filling out forms at the post office, you may have some trouble figuring out what goes into which tiny bureaucratic-looking box. To ask one of the postal workers where you should write what information, use the strong verb schreiben shRay-buhn , to write. The strong verb lesen ley-zuhn , to read, will help you express exactly what kind of reading you are doing.
Have you been glancing at German magazines and newspapers whenever you pass a newsstand? Why don t you buy one? One of the best ways to progress in your reading skills is to do just that: Read. Answer: Er liest eine Zeitung. Smart people know everything and wise people know that they don t know anything at all. Here, you conjugate wissen and kennen. Kennen is used to express that you know or are acquainted with : people, places, things, ideas, and, less frequently than wissen and Kennen, to indicate that you are skilled at something.
Kennst du dieses Lied? The more you use these verbs and the more you hear them used, the more automatic using them will become. Sagt mir nichts! Learn how to find a place to live—be it a room in a boarding house or a castle in the Alps—and how to pay for the things you find! Are you tired of the hassles of a hotel? Is there too much noise reaching your room from the street? Why not consider some modest alternative, like renting a castle?
Actually, this alternative may not be as extravagant as it sounds. There are more castles in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria than almost anywhere else, and renting a small one in some out-of-the-way place could even turn out to be more economical than staying in a fancy hotel. Why not try it? In this chapter, you ll learn how to get furnishings and appliances in the event that you decide to stay a while in the land of castles and fairy tales. You ll also learn how to express your plans for the future.
I Want to Rent a Castle More and more people are becoming either temporary or permanent expatriates. Some of these adventurous folk migrate to Germany. You never know when you may decide that you to want to start a new life in the Bundesrepublik and either rent a house or a castle or—if you can afford it—buy one of your own. Page In any case, you should be prepared to read and understand the apartments for rent and houses for sale sections of the Zeitung and be able to speak with real estate agents about what is available to rent or buy.
Would you prefer to buy a house? Whether you re buying or renting, these phrases will serve you well. Ich suche… iH zew-Chuh I m looking for… einen Immobilienmakler m. Wie teuer ist die Instandhaltung der Wohnung des Hauses? Wie hoch sind die monatlichen Zahlungen? All the Comforts of Home Start living in your new home; soon enough your needs become clear. When you go to close the curtains, you ll realize that there are no curtains. When you walk across the living room floor, the echo of your footsteps against the wood reminds you that a carpet would come in mighty handy.
As evening falls and the rooms grow dark, you ll wish you had a lamp, something dim and romantic—an alternative to the harsh overhead light. Suppose you ve found an unfurnished house or apartment. What are you interested in purchasing or renting from a furniture store to stock it? What services would you like the store to provide?
Read this advertisement and then see if you can describe in English what you can expect if you shop at this particular furniture store. There s Hope for the Future If you re planning to buy or rent property, the first thing you re going to have to do is learn how to express your plans in the future tense. There are a number of ways of to do this. Page Expressing the Future.
To express the future in German colloquial speech, the present tense is often used with a future implication. This also is done in English, though not as commonly. If someone asks you what you are going to do later in the day, you could say, Go home, I guess. Go to bed. After that, sleep. Another way of speaking in the future is by using the future tense. If you re not sure whether you re going to get everything done, you will probably want to use the subjunctive mood.
In an ideal world, you would never have to use this mood— Page you would make a list of things to do and do them. You would put on your jogging shoes and step outside and run four miles. You would clean your apartment; you would write letters to your mother. Unfortunately, as much as you would like to do things, as much as you should do them, you don t always get them done.
Thank goodness for the subjunctive mood. I m in a Subjunctive Mood German has separate forms for verbs that are in the subjunctive mood, forms that are used to express wishes or contrary-to-fact statements. But German, and English, have an easy way to form the subjunctive. You can use this formula with most verbs. You will find werden conjugated in the subjunctive in Table Use this conjugation of werden with every verb you use to form the subjunctive. It is chipped along the bottom rim, but other than that it appears to be in good condition. There is a cork stuck in the mouth of bottle and a dark liquid slaps the sides when you hold it up to the light.
You try to twist the cork free. Finally, it comes loose, Page dislodging itself from the neck with a pop. You are surrounded by smoke, and a genie in Lederhosen and suspenders and a long beard is floating in the air before you. What would you most like to do in Germany? Example: einen BMW kaufen. Tennis spielen wie Boris Becker 3. Page Chapter 27 Money Matters. Now you should be ready to stay indefinitely in a German-speaking country.
You ve learned how to rent a castle or an apartment, if you re interested in something a little more modest , and you ve also learned how to furnish it to your liking. In preceding chapters, you learned how to dine out, how to have fun, how to meet people, and how to make phone calls. Chances are that you ve already cashed a significant portion of your traveler s checks, and that you ve nearly reached the limit on all your credit cards. It s time for you to learn how to deal with money in a foreign country.
You may need to use the long-distance phone skills you learned in Chapter 24 to call home and have one of your loved ones prove their love by wiring you a little extra money. Or perhaps you have a lot of money in a Swiss bank account and you d like to invest it in some German business deals your friends have been telling you about. If you re involved in business, many of the terms you are introduced to in this chapter will be of use to you. Page Get Me to the Bank, Quick! Hotels, restaurants, and banks—these are the places where you will probably spend a good deal of your time when you travel.
Banks will be of particular importance to you, because sooner or later, you ll probably need to exchange money, to cash traveler s checks, or to receive a cash advance on one of your credit cards. If you re planning to reside for an extended period of time in a German-speaking country, you may even want to take out a loan to set up a business, purchase real estate, play the stock market, or open a checking account.
Learning Banking Lingo If you need to do anything involving your friendly local banker, you ll have to acquaint yourself with the banking terms in Table The Deutsche Verkehrs-Kredit Bank has branches in train stations that stay open until 6 p. Your best bet, however, is to exchange money at one of the larger branches of a bank in cities you may have some trouble in the smaller towns , where the exchange rates are higher and the commission is lower. Most hotels also exchange money, but their rates are a complete rip-off, really—ein totaler Nepp. It s hardly even worth mentioning them.
If it s traveler s checks you re looking to exchange, you can do this in the same places you might go to exchange money: Banks, money exchange booths, and post offices. You ll have trouble getting anyone to accept traveler s checks as direct payment. Then—are you ready? In addition to selling stamps, sending packages, and connecting you with long-distance operators, the bureaucratic angels in the German post office also will change your money for you, which is something you may want to keep in mind if you re cashless in the late afternoon: Post offices stay open until 6 p.
What don t they do in post offices? Well, if you want a message scribbled to your loved in the vicinity of the Pleads and are looking for a skywriter with a major in aeronautics and a minor in calligraphy, you ll simply have to look elsewhere. Transactions You Need to Make. If you plan to settle down in Germany, prepare yourself for the banking experience that awaits you by familiarizing yourself with the following phrases the phrases you use will depend on whether you re going to exchange money, make a deposit or a withdrawal, open a checking or savings account, or apply for a loan.
Haben Sie einen Bankeautomaten? Wie benutzt man ihn? Wie hoch ist die Zinsrate? Chapter 2 Now It s Your Turn 1. Wir sind innerhalb von zwei Stunden zu Hause. Der Magen des Mannes Schmertz. The bandit is blond. The bank is modern. The president is elegant. The wind is warm. What Do You Think? Das Wetter ist gut. Ist das Buch interessant?
Page 5. Die Wind ist warm. Der Charakter ist primitiv. This Is Easy 1. The president and the bandit bake tomatoes. The uncle drinks wine. The tiger and the elephant swim in the ocean. The film begins in a supermarket. The baby lies in the arms of its mother. My brother has a guitar. Ich fahre mit dem Zug von Wisconsin nach Vancouver. Ich fahre mit dem Auto vom Flughafen zum See. Ich reite mit dem Pferd zum Haus meiner Eltern. Vor dem Museum ist der Parkplatz. Links neben dem Hotel ist der Bahnhof. Hinter dem Cafe ist der Spielplatz.
Ich habe keine Ahnung. Ich habe den Wetterbericht nicht gelesen. Das ist eine tolle Idee. Ich schwimme gern! Du hast recht. Das ist mir schon oft passiert. Das ist mir egal. Ich glaube in jeder Zeitung finden wir einen Wetterbericht. Mir ist kalt. Sie weint. Sie ist traurig. Mein Magen knurrt. Ich bin hungrig. Ich bin verliebt. Dresden bewolkt 3. Stuttgart sonnig 4. Munich heiter bis wolkig.
Page Chapter 7 Compound Nouns 1. Haben alle deutschen Zeitungen einen Wetterbericht? Wie teuer sind ihre Zimmer? Rock band seeks female singer. Hospital seeks male and female assistants. Pharmacy seeks female pharmacist. Company seeks male or female secretary. Restaurant seeks male cook. Chapter 8 Er, Sie, Es? Sie tanzten. Sie war heiter. Sie weinte. Er war betrunken. Page Chapter 9 Conjugation 1. Ich suche das Museum. Klaus reserviert ein Hotelzimmer. Sie warten auf den Bus. Ihr mietet ein Auto. Wir fragen nach der Adresse. Ich lerne Deutsch.
Ich reise nach Hamburg. Er braucht ein Taxi. Conjugation 1. Er gibt mir einen guten Tip. Ich sehe einen Biergarten. Sie trifft ihre deutsche Brieffreundin. Du sprichst sehr gut Englisch. Ask Me If You Can 1. Kostet das Ticket DM? Steht die Flugnummer auf dem Ticket? Gibt es Toiletten auf dieser Etage? Dauert der Flug zwei Stunden? I m a waiter. He s an electrician. She s a doctor.
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I m a lawyer. You re a waitress. Mit wem reist du? Wohin reist du? Reist du gern? Woher kommt sie? Wie lange reist sie? Wohin reist sie? Chapter 11 Mine, All Mine. Seine Schwester 2. Darf ich mich vorstellen. Mein Name ist… 2. Das ist… 4. Mein Name ist… Es freut mich, Sie kennenzulernen. Using Idioms with Haben 1.
Er hat die Absicht zu heiraten. Anne und Mark haben die Zeit eine Reise nach Deutschland zu unternehmen. Du hast die Gewohnheit zu viel ferzusehen. Complete the Descriptions 1. Mein lustiger Opa bringt mich zum Lachen. Der Freundin meiner Frau geht es nicht gut. Sie ist krank. Der Bruder ihrer Tante hat viel Geld. Er ist sehr reich. Chapter 12 Signs Everywhere 1. Biegt ab! Biegen Sie ab! Gehen Sie weiter! Laufen Sie! Page Chapter 13 A Means to an End 1.
Er nimmt das Auto, um zur Kirche zu fahren. Sie nimmt das Fahrrad, um aufs Land zu fahren. Welches Auto mietet er? Welchen Freund besuchst du? In welches Museum geht ihr? Welches Hotel sucht sie? Chapter 14 What a Hotel! Does It Have…? Kunde: Guten Tag. Haben Sie ein Zimmer frei? Kunde: Ja, warum nicht? Hat das Zimmer ein Telefon? Ich erwarte einen wichtigen Anruf. Kunde: Vollpension, bitte. Empfangschef: Gut.
Die Zimmernummer ist Gute Nacht. Calling Housekeeping 1. Ich brauche einen Adapter. Ich brauche Briefpapier. Page The Declension of Ordinal Numbers 1. Wir haben nicht viel Geld. Wir fahren zweiter Klasse. Zuerst kommt die Post. Auf der zweiten Etage befindet sich das Restaurant. Auf der dritten Etage ist das Einkaufszentrum. Chapter 15 Making a Date 1. Valentinstag ist am Mein Geburtstag ist am… 3. Der Hochzeitstag meiner Eltern ist am… 4. Neujahr ist am 1.
Time Expressions 1. My birthday is a week from today. Yesterday, the weather was good. Mondays I play football. We travel to Germany the day after tomorrow. Im Nachtclub sieht man eine Vorstellung. In der Kathedrale sieht man die Glasmalerei. Im Zoo sieht man Tiere. Im Museum sieht man Bilder und Skulpturen. Page More Suggestions 1. Ich liebe Kirchen. Nein, das interessiert mich nicht. Ja, das interessiert mich.
Nein, das ist langweilig. Ja, ich liebe Europa. Nein, ich mag Europa nicht. Nein, das sagt mir nicht zu. Chapter 17 Wear Yourself Out 1. Unter unseren Schuhen, tragen wir socken. Wenn ich schlafe, trage ich einen Schalfanzug. Wenn es regnet, trage ich einen Regenmantel. Im Winter tragt ihr ein Paar Handschuhe. Colors 1. Ja, ich mag ihn. Ja, ich mag es. Schenk ihnen einen Schal. Schenke ihn ihnen. Schenk ihr ein Kleid. Schenke es ihr. Schenk ihm eine kurze Hose. Schenke sie ihm.
Schenk ihr eine Strumpfhose. Schenke sie ihr. Chapter Die beiden Frauen am Nachbartisch trinken Kaffee. Mein Freund und ich trinken gern trockenen Wein. Am liebsten trinke ich Limonade. A Trip to the Market 1. Chapter 19 You Need What? Ich brauche eine Speisekarte. Ich brauche ein Glas.
Ich brauche eine Serviette. Where to Play Your Game 1. Ich wandere am liebsten im Gebirge. Zum Skifahren, gehe ich auf die Skipiste. Anna schwimmt gern im Schwimmbad. Ich tanze gut. Ich spiele ausgezeichnet Klavier. Ich koche grauenhaft. Ich spiele schlecht Golf. Ich suche eine Wascherei. Chapter 22 Doctor, Doctor. Ich habe Husten. Ich habe Bauchschmerzen.