Karl Kraus

(28 April 1874 – 12 June 1936 / Austria)

Karl Kraus Quotes

  • ''The difference between psychiatrists and other mentally disturbed people is something like the relationship between concave and convex madness.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''Sound opinions are valueless. What matters is who holds them.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''In the theater one must sit in such a way that one sees the audience as a dark mass. Then it cannot bother one more than it does an actor. Nothing is more disturbing than being able to distinguish individuals in the crowd.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''Morality is a burglar's tool whose merit lies in never being left behind at the scene of the crime.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''Why, he's the one who thought I've forgotten that I don't know him!''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''One cleans someone else's threshold of consciousness only if one's own home is dirty.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''Contemporaries live from second hand to mouth.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''A school without grades must have been concocted by someone who was drunk on non-alcoholic wine.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''Parliamentarianism means putting political prostitution in barracks.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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  • ''When I don't make any progress, it is because I have bumped into the wall of language. Then I draw back with a bloody head. And would like to go on.''
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian writer. Trans. by Harry Zohn, originally published in Beim Wort genommen (1955). Half-Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, University of Chicago Press (1990).
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Best Poem of Karl Kraus

Fortuitous Poem

I divide the people I don’t greet into four groups.

There are those whom I don’t greet in order not to compromise myself
This is the simplest group.

Next, there are those whom I don’t greet in order not to compromise them.
This requires a certain amount of attention.

But then there are those whom I don’t greet in order not to get into their bad books.
They are even harder to deal with.

And, finally, there are those whom I don’t greet in order not to get into my bad books.
This takes a particular amount of concentration.

But I’ve had quite a bit of...

Read the full of Fortuitous Poem

Unification

This talk of merger gets me upset –
I care for no Austro-German reunion.
With Germany I have no communion –
I have not even joined Austria yet.

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