One of Kafka’s aphorisms works as a definition of a distinction: “The world is only ever a constructed world.” […] One can find an analogy to this “constructed world” in Heraclitus’s phrase, ήθος ανθρώπωι, which is often translated as “human character,” but that phrase overlooks the original meaning of ήθος as haunt or abode, a place that, by our capacity to adapt, we transform into a habitable dwelling, a place to which we become accustomed. Heraclitus’s most famous aphorism, ήθος ανθρώπωι δαίμων, might be constructed as, “the human ability to adapt does not belong to us,” or “what allows us to be human is something daemonic.”

– Daniel Frank, from the foreword to Franz Kafka’s Aphorisms (New York: Schocken Books, 2015)


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