Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor
"Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor" (German: "Blumfeld, ein älterer Junggeselle") is an incomplete story by Franz Kafka. Probably written at the beginning of 1915, it first appeared in 1936 in the collection Beschreibung eines Kampfes (Description of a Struggle).
It relates part of the life of Blumfeld, an elderly bachelor, who upon arriving home finds two balls bouncing off the ground of their own accord. The balls follow him wherever he goes, and they clearly annoy him. The action continues into the next day, following his attempt to be rid of the balls. After finding an apparent solution, he goes off to work, where he interacts with those around him.
An entry from Kafka's Diaries, dated February 9, 1915, could refer to "Blumfeld":
Just now read the beginning. It is ugly and gives me a headache. In spite of all its truth, it is wicked, pedantic, mechanical, a fish barely breathing on a sandbank.
- Kafka, Franz. The Complete Stories. New York City: Schocken Books, 1971
- Kafka, Franz. Diaries 1910-1923. New York: Schocken Books, 1988.
- the text kafka.uni-bonn.de