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Quotations From KARL KRAUS


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  • War: first, one hopes to win; then one expects the enemy to lose; then, one is satisfied that he too is suffering; in the end, one is surprised that everyone has lost.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, ch. 8 (1976). Die Fackel (Vienna, Oct. 9, 1917), no. 462/71.

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  • Anesthesia: wounds without pain. Neurasthenia: pain without wounds.
    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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  • An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, ch. 8 (1976). Die Fackel, no. 270/71 (Vienna, January 19, 1909).

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  • One can translate an editorial but not a poem. For one can go across the border naked but not without one's skin; for, unlike clothes, one cannot get a new skin.
    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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  • The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, ch. 8 (1976). Die Fackel, no. 277/78 (Vienna, March 31, 1909).

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  • Since the day man first tried to conquer space, the earth has been mobilizing.
    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).
  • In these loud times which boom with the horrible symphony of actions which produce reports and of reports which cause actions.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. speech, Nov. 19, 1914, repr. In In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader, ed. Harry Zohn (1976). "In These Great Times," Die Fackel (Vienna, Dec. 1914).
  • Culture is the tacit agreement to let the means of subsistence disappear behind the purpose of existence. Civilization is the subordination of the latter to the former.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. speech, Nov. 19, 1914, in Vienna; repr. In In These Great Times: A Karl Kraus Reader, ed. Harry Zohn (1976). "In These Great Times," first published in Die Fackel (Vienna, Dec. 1914).

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  • Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.
    Karl Kraus (1874-1936), Austrian satirist. repr. In Thomas Szasz, Anti-Freud: Karl Kraus's Criticism of Psychoanalysis and Psychiatry, ch. 8 (1976). Die Fackel, no. 303 (Vienna, Oct. 16, 1911).
  • So-called psychoanalysis is the occupation of lustful rationalists who trace everything in the world to sexual causes—with the exception of their occupation.
    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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