Die Aufgabe

Franz Kafka

Du bist die Aufgabe. Kein Schüler weit und breit.

This is one of a series of aphorisms written by Franz Kafka in 1917-18. An Aufgabe is an assignment given by a teacher as a problem to be solved by a student. But in this case

You are the problem and there is no student available (or able?) to solve you.

Who made you a problem, a task to be done, a mission to be accomplished?
Can a problem solve itself?

One thought on “Die Aufgabe”

  1. When I was young I used to think of my life as a problem and turned to, for example, Zen in an attempt to solve the Koan that was my life. Then I got older, became acquainted with Peirce, and saw that I was a Sign connected to other Signs and what had been a problem became a creative challenge. No breakthrough satori needed (maybe little satoris along the way). Perhaps there’s not much difference between those approaches. After all I now tend to think of life in terms of creative problem solving.

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