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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 Contrast by Royall Tyler:

down, or pointed to a chair. He sat down, and, in- stead of having recourse to observations upon the weather, or hackneyed criticisms upon the theatre, he entered readily into a conversation worthy a man of sense to speak, and a lady of delicacy and sentiment to hear. He was not strictly handsome, but he spoke the language of sentiment, and his eyes looked tender- ness and honour.


Oh! [eagerly] you sentimental, grave girls, when your hearts are once touched, beat us rattles a bar's

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson:

and the praises of the best of possible words went irrevocably out of season, and have been no more heard of in the mouths of reasonable men. Whitman spares us all allusions to the cochineal; he treats evil and sorrow in a spirit almost as of welcome; as an old sea-dog might have welcomed the sight of the enemy's topsails off the Spanish Main. There, at least, he seems to say, is something obvious to be done. I do not know many better things in literature than the brief pictures, - brief and vivid like things seen by lightning, - with which he tries to stir up the world's heart upon the side of mercy. He braces us, on the one hand,

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:

this long absence.

"My dear," said Madame Sauviat, helping her daughter to dismount, "you must be very tired."

"No, mother," replied Madame Graslin, in so changed a voice that Madame Sauviat looked closely at her and then saw the mark of tears.

Madame Graslin went to her own rooms with Aline, who took her orders for all that concerned her personal life. She now shut herself up and would not even admit her mother; when Madame Sauviat asked to enter, Aline stopped her, saying, "Madame has gone to sleep."

The next day Veronique rode out attended by Maurice only. In order to reach the Roche-Vive as quickly as possible she took the road by which

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 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe:

I think I had been brought to bed about twenty-two days when I received another letter from my friend at the bank, with the surprising news that he had obtained a final sentence of divorce against his wife, and had served her with it on such a day, and that he had such an answer to give to all my scruples about his marrying again, as I could not expect, and as he had no desire of; for that his wife, who had been under some remorse before for her usage of him, as soon as she had the account that he had gained his point, had very unhappily destroyed herself that same evening.

He expressed himself very handsomely as to his being concerned

Moll Flanders