Quotations From FRANZ KAFKA


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  • The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 21, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).

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  • Adam's first domestic pet after the expulsion from Paradise was the serpent.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 21, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).
  • What is gayer than believing in a household god?
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 19, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).

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  • Martyrs do not underrate the body, they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 21, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).
  • The true way leads along a tightrope not stretched aloft but just above the ground. It seems designed more to trip one than to be walked along.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. (written Oct. 1917-Feb. 1918). The Collected Aphorisms, vol. 1, no. 1, Shorter Works, ed. and trans. by Malcolm Pasley (1973).
  • If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. journal entry, Jan. 24, 1922. The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923, ed. Max Brod (1948).

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  • Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, January 2, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).
  • One must not cheat anyone, not even the world of its victory.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 8, 1917. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).

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  • 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 (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 25, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).

    Read more quotations about / on: sorrow, death
  • Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, January 2, 1918. The Blue Octavo Notebooks, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins. Exact Change, Cambridge, MA (1991). Dearest Father: Stories and Other Writings, trans. by Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins, New York, Schocken Books (1954).

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