niina.amniisia » bits, pieces and photos from sydney, australia and elsewhere

the art of research (Tuesday May 11th, 1999 - 00:00)

category: mmhuh?

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
quoting Franz Kafka

The above quote was neatly handwritten in a farewell book for a work mate about three weeks ago. I just happened to glance at the page while it was being written and I was impressed with the words. Due to my lack of short and long term memory, I realised it was too long for me to commit to memory.

But tonight a few of the words came back to haunt my mind and I was determined to figure out what the quote was.

I went to the trusty Altavista ( and did a search for “+sit +listen +kafka”. Scrolling through the links and checking out a few pages, 5 minutes after the ningling sensation, there at number 21, I find what I’m after.

Thanks to a page called Wisdom and Spirituality ( by someone called Matt, my quote is there, the exact same paragraph as I’d read three weeks earlier.

Had I felt that slight wonder about a quote 10 years ago, I’d have spared it 10 seconds thought and let it pass – to take myself to a library and trawl through book after novel after book to locate such a small string of words would have been out of the question. Too time consuming. So perhaps the Internet does have a benefit: it satisfies my mind’s cravings.

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