Franz Kafka Quotes


Type: Novelist

Born: 3 July 1883

Died: 3 June 1924

Born on July 3, 1883, in Prague, capital of what is now the Czech Republic, writer Franz Kafka grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family. After studying law at the University of Prague, he worked in insurance and wrote in the evenings. In 1923, he moved to Berlin to focus on writing, but died of tuberculosis shortly after. German was his first language. In fact, despite his Czech background and Jewish roots, Kafka's identity favored German culture. His friend Max Brod published most of his work posthumously, such as "Amerika" and "The Castle".

Franz Kafka Quotes

The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisable, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speaks he lies.

Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.

I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.

I need solitude for my writing; not 'like a hermit' - that wouldn't be enough - but like a dead man.

This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.

We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.

Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.

Writer speaks a stench.

Writing is prayer.

In a way, I was safe writing

What is written is merely the dregs of experience.

Each of us has his own way of emerging from the underworld, mine is by writing. That's why the only way I can keep going, if at all, is by writing, not through rest and sleep. I am far more likely to achieve peace of mind through writing than the capacity to write through peace.

We need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.

However, Gregor had become much calmer. All right, people did not understand his words any more, although they seemed clear enough to him, clearer than previously, perhaps because had gotten used to them

May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air.

The meaning of life is that it stops.

He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived.

L'éternité, c'est long ... surtout vers la fin.

All I am is literature, and I am not able or willing to be anything else.

The truth is always an abyss. One must - as in a swimming pool - dare to dive from the quivering springboard of trivial everyday experience and sink into the depths, in order to later rise again - laughing and fighting for breath - to the now doubly illuminated surface of things.

From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back.

Kill me, or you are a murderer.

One of the first signs of the beginnings of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate.

But I’m not guilty,” said K. “there’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak

But what if all the tranquility, all the comfort, all the contentment were now to come to a horrifying end?

Evil does not exist; once you have crossed the threshold, all is good. Once in another world, you must hold your tongue.

Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith.

Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.

I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.

Books are a narcotic.

Ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns.

The door could not be heard slamming; they had probably left it open, as is the custom in homes where a great misfortune has occurred.

Most men are not wicked... They are sleep-walkers, not evil evildoers.

I only fear danger where I want to fear it.

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.

my heart no longer beats but is a tugging muscle,

You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart; imagine my heartbeat when you are in this state.

What's happened to me,' he thought. It was no dream.

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.

If a man has his eyes bound, you can encourage him as much as you like to stare through the bandage, but he'll never see anything.

By your side I’m most quiet and most unquiet, most inhibited and most free.

Hombro con hombro, una cadena de hermanos, una sangre no ya encerrada en la mezquina circulación del cuerpo, sino circulando con una dulzura y sin embargo regresando sin fin a través de China.

So then you’re free?’
‘Yes, I’m free,’ said Karl, and nothing seemed more worthless than his freedom.

People who walk across dark bridges, past saints,
with dim, small lights.
Clouds which move across gray skies
past churches
with towers darkened in the dusk.
One who leans against granite railing
gazing into the evening waters,
His hands resting on old stones.

The existence of the writer is an argument against the existence of the soul, for the soul has obviously taken flight from the real ego, but not improved itself, only become a writer.

My job is unbearable to me because it conflicts with my only desire and my only calling, which is literature. Since I am nothing but literature and can and want to be nothing else, my job will never take possession of me, it may, however, shatter me completely, and this is by no means a remote possibility.

The limited circle is pure.

It is as if I were made of stone, as if I were my own tombstone, there is no loophole for doubt or for faith, for love or repugnance, for courage or anxiety, in particular or in general, only a vague hope lives on, but no better than the inscriptions on tombstones.

Life is merely terrible; I feel it as few others do. Often - and in my inmost self perhaps all the time - I doubt whether I am a human being.

...призрачной работе на службе, которая просто ускользает у меня из-под рук, сколько бы я з

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