The Pequod Review:
Collected and edited by Max Brod, Franz Kafka's diaries focus on his intense interior thoughts during a period (1910-1923) when he dealt with serious health issues and uncertainty about his path as a writer. The entries are self-absorbed and despairing, but for fans of Kafka there is value in the way they help us better understand his psychology — as for example in this entry from August 1914:
What will be my fate as a writer is very simple. My talent for portraying my dreamlike inner life has thrust all other matters into the background; my life has dwindled dreadfully, nor will it cease to dwindle. Nothing else will ever satisfy me… Thus I waver, continually fly to the summit of the mountain, but then fall back in a moment. Others waver too, but in lower regions, with greater strength; if they are in danger of falling, they are caught up by the kinsman who walks behind them for that very purpose. But I waver on the heights; it is not death, alas, but the eternal torments of dying.