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Quotations From FRANZ KAFKA

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  • 1.
    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).

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  • 2.
    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).

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  • 3.
    It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Czech novelist, short-story writer. The Advocate, in The Trial, ch. 8 (1925, trans. 1935). An echo of Rousseau's famous dictum.
  • 4.
    Believing means liberating the indestructible element in oneself, or, more accurately, liberating oneself, or, more accurately, being indestructible, or, more accurately, being.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, November 30, 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).
  • 5.
    Religions get lost as people do.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Fourth Notebook, February 26, 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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  • 6.
    A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German novelist and short story writer. The Collected Aphorisms, no. 13 (Oct. 1917-Feb. 1918); published in Shorter Works, vol. 1, ed. and trans. by Malcolm Pasley (1973).
  • 7.
    There is a down-and-outness under true knowledge and a childlike happy arising from it.
    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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  • 8.
    A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German novelist, short-story writer. Shorter Works, vol. 1, ed. and trans. by Malcolm Pasley (1973). The Collected Aphorisms, no. 87 (Oct. 1917-Feb. 1918).

    Read more quotations about / on: light
  • 9.
    Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Prague German Jewish author, novelist. The Third Notebook, December 4, 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).
  • 10.
    You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, that is something you are free to do and it accords with your nature, but perhaps this very holding back is the one suffering you could avoid.
    Franz Kafka (1883-1924), German novelist, short-story writer. repr. In Shorter Works, vol. 1, ed. and trans. by Malcolm Pasley (1973). The Collected Aphorisms, no. 103 (Oct. 1917-Feb. 1918).

    Read more quotations about / on: nature, world
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