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Today's Stichomancy for Franz Kafka

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Call of the Wild by Jack London:

For the last time he rushed. The man struck the shrewd blow he had purposely withheld for so long, and Buck crumpled up and went down, knocked utterly senseless.

"He's no slouch at dog-breakin', that's wot I say," one of the men on the wall cried enthusiastically.

"Druther break cayuses any day, and twice on Sundays," was the reply of the driver, as he climbed on the wagon and started the horses.

Buck's senses came back to him, but not his strength. He lay where he had fallen, and from there he watched the man in the red sweater.

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad:

people's homesteads, and they were in league with the local usurers. They exported their victims through Hamburg mostly. As to the ship, I had watched her out of this very window, reaching close-hauled under short canvas into the bay on a dark, threatening afternoon. She came to an an- chor, correctly by the chart, off the Brenzett Coast- guard station. I remember before the night fell looking out again at the outlines of her spars and rigging that stood out dark and pointed on a back- ground of ragged, slaty clouds like another and a


Amy Foster
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Ruling Passion by Henry van Dyke:

talks about the whole of a man's life passing before him in a flash of light? A flash of darkness! Thought is paralyzed, dumb. "What a fool!" "Good-bye!" "If--" That is about all it can say. And if the moment is prolonged, it says the same thing over again, stunned, bewildered, impotent. Then?--The rocking waves; the sinking boat; the roar of the fall; the swift overturn; the icy, blinding, strangling water--God!

Jean was flung shoreward. Instinctively he struck out, with the current and half across it, toward a point of rock. His foot touched bottom. He drew himself up and looked back. The canoe was sweeping past, bottom upward, Alden underneath it.

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Night and Day by Virginia Woolf:

looked at. The question of the new census will have to be gone into carefully. But I'm going home now. Good night, Mr. Clacton; good night, Sally."

"We are very fortunate in our secretary, Mr. Clacton," said Mrs. Seal, pausing with her hand on the papers, as the door shut behind Mary. Mr. Clacton himself had been vaguely impressed by something in Mary's behavior towards him. He envisaged a time even when it would become necessary to tell her that there could not be two masters in one office--but she was certainly able, very able, and in touch with a group of very clever young men. No doubt they had suggested to her some of her new ideas.