Franz Kafka

(3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924 / Prague, Bohemia)

Franz Kafka Quotes

  • ''From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, October 20, 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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  • ''Writers speak stench.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. Entry before May 17, 1910. Diaries: 1910-1913, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Joseph Kresh, New York, Schocken Books (1948).
  • ''Looking on oneself as something alien, forgetting the sight, remembering the gaze.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 6, 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).
  • ''I passed by the brothel as though past the house of a beloved.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. Entry before May 17, 1910. Diaries: 1910-1913, ed. Max Brod, trans. by Joseph Kresh, New York, Schocken Books (1948).
  • ''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 (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).
  • ''A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. Letter to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904. Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors, trans. by Richard and Clara Winston, New York, Schocken Books (1977).
  • ''To every instant there is a correspondence in something outside time. This world here and now cannot be followed by a Beyond, for the Beyond is eternal, hence it cannot be in temporal contact with this world here and now.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 11, 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).
  • ''Tyranny or slavery, born of selfishness, are the two educational methods of parents; all gradations of tyranny or slavery.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. Letter, autumn 1921, to Elli Hermann. Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors, trans. by Richard and Clara Winston, New York, Schocken Books (1977).
  • ''Here nothing is decided, but only here can the power of decision be tested.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 15, 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).
  • ''My "fear" ... is my substance, and probably the best part of me.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German novelist, short-story writer. Letter to Milena Jesenská. Quoted in Margarete Buber-Neumann, Milena, ch. 7 (1989).

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