Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a Prague German-language novelist and short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists faced by bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible social-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity.

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Evil is whatever distracts.

By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.

Heaven is dumb, echoing only the dumb.

It is only our conception of time that makes us call the Last Judgement by this name. It is, in fact, a kind of martial law.

Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty if he wished to drop the Earth and creep away, but this opinion was all that he was permitted.

Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.

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

The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.

Tyranny or slavery born of selfishness are the two educational methods of parents, all gradations of tyranny or slavery.

Don Quixote's misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.

A man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it.

It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.

My peers lately have found companionship through means of intoxication - it makes them sociable. I however cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness - it is all that I have - and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate will be all that my peers have as well.

In argument, similes are like songs in love, they describe much but prove nothing.

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

From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.

The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with our life gives it the appearance of being infinite.

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.

My "fear" is my substance and probably the best part of me.

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.

He who seeks does not find but he who does not seek will be found.

Let me remind you of the old maxim: people under suspicion are better moving than at rest since at rest they may be sitting in the balance without knowing it being weighed together with their sins.

If I shall exist eternally how shall I exist tomorrow?

In the fight between you and the world back the world.

One must not cheat anyone not even the world of its victory.

It is comforting to reflect that the disproportion of things in the world seems to be only arithmetical.

Idleness is the beginning of all vice the crown of all virtues.

Martyrs do not underrate the body they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.

Suffering is the positive element in this world indeed it is the only link between this world and the positive.

A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.

The Bible is a sanctum, the world sputum.

In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one and not to strive towards it.

One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.

Writers speak stench.

Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.

Dread of night. Dread of not-night.

In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.

Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.

It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen only wait. Do not even wait be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking it can do no other in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.

Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.

A stair not worn hollow by footsteps is regarded from its own point of view only a boring something made of wood.

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.

In the struggle between yourself and the world second the world.

The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all former things worthless are in the right for nothing has yet happened.

There are only two things. Truth and lies. Truth is indivisible hence it cannot recognize itself, anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie.

Sensual love deceives one as to the nature of heavenly love, it could not do so alone but since it unconsciously has the element of heavenly love within it it can do so.

How can one take delight in the world unless one flees to it for refuge?

Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.

Not everyone can see the truth but he can be it.

Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.

One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.

The mediation by the serpent was necessary. Evil can seduce man but cannot become man.

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

I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.

There is nothing besides a spiritual world, what we call the world of the senses is the Evil in the spiritual world and what we call Evil is only the necessity of a moment in our eternal evolution.

My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.

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.

Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt the believer believe.

Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate... but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.

So long as you have food in your mouth you have solved all questions for the time being.

The relationship to one's fellow man is the relationship of prayer the relationship to oneself is the relationship of striving, it is from prayer that one draws the strength for one's striving.

We are sinful not only because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we are is sinful irrespective of guilt.

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

God gives the nuts but he does not crack them.

I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.

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.

The thornbush is the old obstacle in the road. It must catch fire if you want to go further.

If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.

The experience of life consists of the experience which the spirit has of itself in matter and as matter in mind and as mind in emotion as emotion etc.

No sooner said than done - so acts your man of worth.

Religions get lost as people do.

How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with say my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world as there is of the outer world.

Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.

Hiding places there are innumerable escape is only one but possibilities of escape again are as many as hiding places.

Woman or more precisely put perhaps marriage is the representative of life with which you are meant to come to terms.

Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.

Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.

By imposing too great a responsibility or rather all responsibility on yourself you crush yourself.

We are separated from God on two sides, the Fall separates us from Him the Tree of Life separates Him from us.

The spirit becomes free only when it ceases to be a support.

You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen simply wait be quiet 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.