Franz Kafka


Czech-born German Writer of Visionary Fiction Novels

Author Quotes

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.

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

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

A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.

The meaning of life is that it stops.

Every man lives behind bars, which he carries within him.

Only our concept of Time makes it possible for us to speak of the Day of Judgment by that name; in reality it is a summary count in perpetual session.

Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, though both the indestructible element and the trust may remain permanently hidden from him.

A young man who doesn’t believe in tomorrow morning is a traitor to himself.

Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man.

There are countless places of refuge, there is only one place of salvation; but the possibilities of salvation, again, are as numerous as all the places of refuge.

There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction. One has to go abroad in order to find the home one has lost.

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

The fact that our task is exactly as large as our life makes it appear infinite.

Parents who expect gratitude from their children (there are even some who insist on it) are like usurers who gladly risk their capital if only they receive interest.

You need not do anything. Remain sitting at your table and listen. You need not even listen, just wait. And you need not even wait. Just become quiet and still and solitary and the world will offer itself to you to be unmasked. It has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.

Man cannot live without a lasting trust in something indestructible within him, both his trust and its indestructible object can remain forever concealed from him. One expression of this concealment is man's faith in a personal God.

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Czech-born German Writer of Visionary Fiction Novels