Kafka drinks Coffee

Kafka drinks Coffee

September 23, 2018 - presenter Kathi Diamant


"In Defense of Dora"

Sunday,  September 23,  4-6pm

in Pan's Garden (map)

 506 21st Street, San Diego, CA 92102



Kathi Diamant 

will share with us her presentation for the 
German Studies Association's annual conference
in  Pittsburgh, October 2018, discussing: 

"Kafka and Women: Real and Imaginary"


Kathi will make the case for Dora Diamant's importance to understanding one of the most influential and often misunderstood writers of our time. Her talk will be interspersed with passages from Kafka's personal and literary work, written in the last year of his life, read out by our in-house actor, Byron La Due.

Dora Diamant 1925

Dora Diamant (1898-1952) was the only person outside of family with whom Franz Kafka lived, and according to Kafka’s friend and literary executor Max Brod, the woman who gave him the happiest year of his life. A 25-year old Polish-Jewish immigrant from the shtetl, Dora met Kafka on the Baltic Sea in Germany in 1923. Eleven months later Kafka died in her arms, and for the rest of her life Dora kept his literary flame alive.

Yet, for more than half a century, Dora Diamant was ignored or dismissed by the academia of Europe and the United States. Until the publication her biography, "Kafka’s Last Love", Dora’s unique perspective on Kafka was nearly lost, hidden away in the memories of those who knew her, and in private and national archives in Germany, Switzerland, France and Russia. At one European university, she was forbidden as a legitimate subject for a thesis or PhD dissertation.

Kathi Diamant, author of "Kafka’s Last Love", has spent three decades recovering Dora’s story. In 1998, she started the Kafka Project at SDSU, the official international search for Kafka’s missing literary treasure, confiscated from Dora by the Gestapo in 1933. Since the publication of Dora’s biography in 2003 and subsequent Kafka biographies commissioned and published since then, Dora’s experience is now recognized as essential as his grim visage is recast into one more joyful, fun-loving and hopeful. But there are still Kafka scholars and academics who cling to the old view, and regard Dora Diamant’s opinions as hearsay, scandalous, and even sacrilegious.

Our September 2018 "Coffee with Kafka" event is a preview of Kathi’s participation in the German Studies Association’s annual conference the following week  in Pittsburgh, where she will participate in a roundtable discussion on “Kafka and Women: Real and Imaginary” with other Kafka scholars across the globe.

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To reserve a place, please e-mail: Elizabeth (at) coffeewithkafka.com
Home baked refreshments, coffee, tea and wine will be offered.

Suggested donations: $10

July 8, 2018 with Guest Lecturer Peter Bolland


"The Meaning of Our Existence"

Sunday, July 8, 4-6pm

in Pan's Garden (map)

 506 21st Street, San Diego, CA 92102


We will explore the worlds of literature, philosophy and ancient wisdom inspired by our Guest Lecturer, Peter Bolland


Peter Bolland
writer, speaker, spiritual teacher, singer - songwriter, 
philosophy professor at Southwestern College and 
beloved instructor at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SDSU.

"There are innumerable hiding places and only one salvation, but the possibilities of salvation are as numerous as the hiding places." Franz Kafka

"You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live, if you are looking for the meaning of life" Albert Camus

Our last "CwK" event was an investigation into the message of Hope in Kafka's writings and the meaning of life in Camus' "The Stranger". The ultimate message of Hope as a leap of Faith, the idea of transcendence into God, and the presence of the Divine in Kafka's novel "The Castle" are the themes for our ongoing discussions.

Our Guest Lecturer's talk about the spiritual connection with the Eastern Philosophical tradition will add richness and depth to our understanding of what life is all about and prepare us for the reading and interpretation of Kafka's novel "The Castle" which we plan to discuss later this Summer.

Our resident actor Byron LaDue will read selected passages from Kafka, French existential thinkers, and Eastern sages.

To reserve a place, please e-mail: Elizabeth (at) coffeewithkafka.com

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Refreshments will be provided, pictures will be taken, smiles will abound.

Welcome back to “Coffee with Kafka” 
San Diego Summer Event!

Suggested donations: $10
(Proceeds to Kafka Project are tax deductible).
Home baked refreshments, coffee, tea and wine will be offered.

April 29, 2018

Coffee with Camus





Yesterday's gathering was fun!
Rosalie said it best, but I want to add my voice:  thank you for an interesting, thought-provoking, and (in spite of the weather) downright cozy afternoon. It was so gratifying to see how many people attended, and how involved everyone got! 
Loving energy,
Susanna 
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I read the book, not sure whether I liked it… not really…
However, it was really good. I consider myself a very spiritual individual, however, I often wonder about the futility, absurdity of life...and I actually found that I related very well with Mr. Meursault.
The Stranger has had an impact on me....
I found his epiphany moving at the end....hence this email..
I always felt it is good to ponder life, I often do, as difficult as this makes my life…. At this stage in my life, it is You, the people in my life that make it worthwhile...
It was a hard read..it was a good book. Camus is deserving of his Nobel Prize.
Thank you, for the lovely Sunday afternoon at Pan.s garden 
Rosalie 

Sunday, April 29, 4 - 6pm 

 Pan's Garden (map) 

506 21st Street, San Diego, CA 92124

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"What's Camus Got To Do With It?"


We will explore the parallels and differences in the writings of French writer Albert Camus and Franz Kafka. The discussion will focus on Camus' 20's century classics "The Stranger" and explore how it connects and illuminates Kafka's novel "The Trial".

First published in 1942 in Nazi-occupied France, "The Stranger" is a brilliantly told story of controlled despair, centered on a trial. Through its hero Meursault, the novel takes a look at life and asks one simple question: WHY?

Camus offered this synopsis of his story: "Meursault does not play the game, he refuses to lie, he says what he is, he refuses to hide his feelings and so society immediately feels threatened."

About Kafka, Camus said, "Most of those who have spoken of Kafka have indeed defined his works as a desperate cry with no recourse left to man. But this calls for review. There is hope and hope." Since Kafka was too hopeful for Camus, "The Stranger" provides a helpful guide to examine how Kafka is full of hope and joy.

We will present a short introduction to Camus, his book and the ideas of absurdism by Elizabeth Rohwer, readings by Byron LaDue and a panel with participation of author Pat Benke and Heather Quinn.

Brief overview of Camus's life and literary works can be found here.
Luciano Visconti's 1967 movie "The Stranger" with Marcello Mastroianni can be watched here.

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As usual refreshments will be provided, pictures will be taken, smiles will abound.

Welcome back to “Coffee with Kafka” 
San Diego Summer Event!

Suggested donations: $10
(Proceeds to Kafka Project are tax deductible).
Home baked refreshments, coffee, tea and wine will be offered.
Looking forward to seeing you all!
To reserve a place, please e-mail: Elizabeth (at) coffeewithkafka.com