Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka Quotes

  • ''Letting the head that is filled with disgust and hate droop on the breast. Certainly, but what if someone is throttling you?''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 26, 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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  • ''Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. Journal entry, July 21, 1913. The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923, ed. Max Brod (1948).
  • ''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.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German novelist, shortstory writer. The Diaries of Franz Kafka: 1910-1923, entry for Oct. 19, 1921, ed. Max Brod (1948).
  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with our life gives it the appearance of being infinite.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, January 19, 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).
  • ''My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. (Originally published 1919). The officer, in In The Penal Settlement, Metamorphosis and Other Stories (1961).
  • ''The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become a master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the master's whiplash.''
    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 man in ecstasy and the man drowning—both throw up their arms. The first does it to signify harmony, the second to signify strife with the elements.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 24, 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).
  • ''Always first draw fresh breath after outbursts of vanity and complacency.''
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, October 18, 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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