Franz Kafka Quotes – Wisdom from a Literary Genius

Franz Kafka is one of the most famous and influential writers of the 20th century. His unique and dark writing style has inspired generations of artists and thinkers. Franz Kafka Quotes are as relevant today as they were when he first uttered them.

franz kafka quotes

Franz Kafka is one of the most renowned authors of the 20th century. He was a German-speaking Jew born in Prague, Bohemia in 1883. Kafka is best known for his novels, The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle, and Amerika.

Kafka’s writing career began in earnest in 1911, when he started writing short stories for magazines. That same year, he also published his first book, a collection of short stories called “The Judgment.”

Kafka‘s writing is often characterized by its dreamlike quality, and his characters are often alienated and isolated. Franz Kafka died of tuberculosis on June 3, 1924, at the age of 40.

Kafka’s writing has had a profound influence on other writers, and his work is often studied in universities.

Franz Kafka quotes are just as enigmatic as his writing, and they offer a unique glimpse into his mind.

68 Franz Kafka Quotes

  1. “The meaning of life is that it stops.”

2. “I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.”

3. “Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.”

4. “Every thing you love is very likely to be lost, but in the end, love will return in a different way.”

5. “Self-control is something for which I do not strive. Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.”

6. “You are the knife I turn inside myself; that is love. That, my dear, is love.”

7. “In man’s struggle against the world, bet on the world.”

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

9. “A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”

10. “I’m doing badly, I’m doing well, whichever you prefer.”

franz kafka metamorphosis quotes

Famous Kafka Quotes

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

12. “I only fear danger where I want to fear it.”

13. “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

14. “For myself I am too heavy, and for you too light.”

15. “Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.”

16. “You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.”

17. “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”

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

19. “If a man has his eyes bound, you can encourage him as much as you like to stare through the bandage, but he’ll never see anything.”

20. “I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.”

21. “Beyond a certain point there is no return. This point has to be reached.”

22. “It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”

franz kafka quotes love

Franz Kafka Quotes on Life

23. “In a way, you are poetry material; You are full of cloudy subtleties I am willing to spend a lifetime figuring out. Words burst in your essence and you carry their dust in the pores of your ethereal individuality.”

24. “I can love only what I can place so high above me that I cannot reach it.”

25. “I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

26. “It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.”

27. “I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.”

28. “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?”

29. “Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.”

30. “What if I slept a little more and forgot about all this nonsense.”

31. “I’m tired, can’t think of anything and want only to lay my face in your lap, feel your hand on my head and remain like that through all eternity.”

32. “It would have been so pointless to kill himself that, even if he had wanted to, the pointlessness would have made him unable.”

33. “You can choose to be free , but it’s last decision you’ll ever make”

Mind-Provoking Franz Kafka Quotes

34. “I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.”

35. “Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”

36. “You misinterpret everything, even the silence.”

37. “I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.”

38. “How about if I sleep a little bit longer and forget all this nonsense”,”

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

40. “Even if no salvation should come, I want to be worthy of it at every moment.”

41. “He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived.”

42. “I have spent all my life resisting the desire to end it.”

43. “All I am is literature, and I am not able or willing to be anything else.”

44. “I can’t feel a thing; All mournful petal storms are dancing inside the very private spring of my head.”

45. “Paths are made by walking”

46. “Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live.”

47. “I am not well; I could have built the Pyramids with the effort it takes me to cling on to life and reason.”

46. “Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

47. “What’s happened to me,’ he thought. It was no dream.”

48. “It is only because of their stupidity that they are able to be so sure of themselves.”

49. “I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more”

50. “Nothing unites two people so completely, especially if, like you and me, all they have is words.”

51. “Life is merely terrible; I feel it as few others do. Often — and in my inmost self perhaps all the time — I doubt whether I am a human being.”

52. “I miss you deeply, unfathomably, senselessly, terribly.”

53. “You are free and that is why you are lost.”

54. “Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”

55. “I’m thinking only of my illness and my health, though both, the first as well as the second, are you.”

56. “You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart; imagine my heartbeat when you are in this state.”

57. “If I could drown in sleep as I drown in fear I would be no longer alive.”

58. “Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.”

59. “You will get to know me better; there are still a number of horrible recesses in me that you don’t know.”

60. “Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.”

61. “I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things. ”

62. “Love is, that you are the knife which I plunge into myself.”

63. “The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other.”

64. “There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us.”

65. “The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that makes us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, lost in a forest remote from all human habitation.”

66. “The true way goes over a rope which is not stretched at any great height but just above the ground. It seems more designed to make people stumble than to be walked upon.”

67. “There is a destination but no way there; what we refer to as way is hesitation.”

68. “I do not speak as I think, I do not think as I should, and so it all goes on in helpless darkness.”

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