February 14, 2021

Asking For Her Hand In Marriage

Image by Prawny
Back in 1913, the author Franz Kafka wrote to the father of his long-time love Felice, asking for her hand in marriage, and stated:

I am taciturn, unsociable, morose, selfish, a hypochondriac and genuinely in poor health. Among my family, the best, most loving of people you could ever encounter, I live as a complete stranger. In recent years I've spoken an average of less than twenty words a day to my mother, and I've barely ever exchanged more than a few words of greeting with my father. I don't speak to my married sisters and their husbands at all, unless I have something bad to say. I have no sense of how to cohabit normally with my family.
And yet your daughter is supposed to live alongside a person like this, a healthy girl like her, whose nature has predestined her for genuine marital bliss? Is she supposed to bear it, leading a cloistered existence alongside the man who, admittedly, loves her as he's never been able to love anyone else, but who, by virtue of his unalterable destiny, spends most of his time either shut away in his room or wandering around alone?

He did not receive an answer.