Franz Kafka Quotes

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Now the sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence... someone might have escaped from their singing; but from their silence, certainly never.
Franz Kafka (The Silence of the Sirens, 1917)
A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.
Variant: A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us
Franz Kafka (Letter to Oskar Pollak, 1904)
My life was sweeter than other people’s and my death will be more terrible by the same degree.
Franz Kafka (Letter to Max Brod, 1922)
There is a perfect possibility of happiness: believing in the indestructible element in oneself and not striving towards it.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
I am away from home and must always write home, even if any home of mine has long since floated away into eternity.
Franz Kafka (Letter to Max Brod, 1922)
We are sinful not merely because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
Franz Kafka
One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.
Franz Kafka (The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1911)
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?
Franz Kafka (Letter to Oskar Pollak, 1904)
One tells as few lies as possible only by telling as few lies as possible, and not by having the least possible opportunity to do so.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.
Franz Kafka (The Trial, 1920)
The indestructible is one: it is each individual human being and, at the same time, it is common to all, hence the incomparably indivisible union that exists between human beings.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.
Variant: There is a point of no return. This point has to be reached.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.
Variant: A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
We all have wings, but they have not been of any avail to us and if we could tear them off, we would do so.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.
Franz Kafka (Investigations of a Dog)
Self-control is something for which I do not strive. Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
Just think how many thoughts a blanket smothers while one lies alone in bed, and how many unhappy dreams it keeps warm.
Franz Kafka (The Complete Stories)
Nothing, you know, gives the body greater satisfaction than ordering people about, or at least believing in one’s ability to do so.
Franz Kafka (Letter to Felice Bauer, 1912)
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
Franz Kafka
The true way is along a rope that is not spanned high in the air, but only just above the ground. It seems intended more to cause stumbling than to be walked upon.
Franz Kafka (Aphorisms, 1918)
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.
Franz Kafka (Letter to his sister Ottla)
The cruelty of death lies in the fact that it brings the real sorrow of the end, but not the end. The greatest cruelty of death: an apparent end causes a real sorrow. Our salvation is death, but not this one.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
One can disintegrate the world by means of very strong light. For weak eyes the world becomes solid, for still weaker eyes it seems to develop fists, for eyes weaker still it becomes shamefaced and smashes anyone who dares to gaze upon it.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.
Franz Kafka (Quoted in Shorter Works of Franz Kafka, 1973)
Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man, and this immediately, though, of course, only in the case of complete and permanent humility.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time, without interruption, endlessly, even though I feel that here in this world there’s no undisturbed place for our love, neither in the village nor anywhere else; and I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.
Franz Kafka (The Castle, 1926)
If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.
Variant: If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without climbing it, it would have been permitted.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
The history of the world, as it is written and handed down by word of mouth, often fails us completely; but man's intuitive capacity, though it often misleads, does lead, does not ever abandon one.
Franz Kafka (The Blue Octavo Notebooks, 1917-1919)
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Franz Kafka Biography

Born: July 3, 1883
Died: Juny 3, 1924

Franz Kafka was an Austrian-Hungarian novelist. Although much of his work wasn't finished before his death he still was and is considered to be one of the best writers in the 20th century.

Top 10 Quotes

Notable Works

Metamorphosis (1915)
The Blue Octavo Notebooks (1917-1919)
The Trial (1920)
The Castle (1926)
Amerika (1927)

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Misattributed Quotes
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.
Willa Muir and Edwin Muir giving their own view and summary on Kafka's Metamorphosis in (The metamorphosis, In the penal colony, and other stories, 1995).

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