Inspiration, Quotes, Productivity and More

Discover Franz Kafka With These 81 Quotes

Franz Kafka was born on July 3, 1883 in Prague into a middle-class Jewish family. Kafka got acquainted to the German culture and schooling as his father wanted him to get a German education as German was the language of arts and culture of the elites of the time. His relationship with his father was a complexed one and throughout his work one can come across the dominating and authoritative and prohibitive figure.

He is widely recognised as one of the writers who influenced German literature. But prior to this, Kafka was relatively unknown. He was reticent to publish his works, and pleaded with his literary agent, Max brod, not to bring his written works to light. Ignoring this request, Brod published his novels The Trial, The Castle and Amerika in 1925, 1926 and 1927 respectively.

Franz Kafka passed away on June, 3, 1924 in Kierling, Austria.

Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.

Franz Kafka

Religions get lost as people do.

Franz Kafka

The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual. That is why the revolutionary spiritual movements that declare all former things worthless are in the right, for nothing has yet happened.

Franz Kafka

The Bible is a sanctum; the world, sputum.

Franz Kafka

Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.

Franz Kafka

So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.

Franz Kafka

Sensual love deceives one as to the nature of heavenly love; it could not do so alone, but since it unconsciously has the element of heavenly love within it, it can do so.

Franz Kafka

Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.

Franz Kafka

Suffering is the positive element in this world, indeed it is the only link between this world and the positive.

Franz Kafka

Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.

Franz Kafka

One tells as few lies as possible only by telling as few lies as possible, and not by having the least possible opportunity to do so.

Franz Kafka

One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.

Franz Kafka

One must not cheat anyone, not even the world of its victory.

Franz Kafka

One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.

Franz Kafka

No sooner said than done – so acts your man of worth.

Franz Kafka

My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication – it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness – it is all that I have – and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.

Franz Kafka

The experience of life consists of the experience which the spirit has of itself in matter and as matter, in mind and as mind, in emotion, as emotion, etc.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

There is nothing besides a spiritual world; what we call the world of the senses is the Evil in the spiritual world, and what we call Evil is only the necessity of a moment in our eternal evolution.

Franz Kafka

In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

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.

Franz Kafka

Writers speak stench.

Franz Kafka

Woman, or more precisely put, perhaps, marriage, is the representative of life with which you are meant to come to terms.

Franz Kafka

We are sinful not only because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.

Franz Kafka

We are separated from God on two sides; the Fall separates us from Him, the Tree of Life separates Him from us.

Franz Kafka

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

Tyranny or slavery, born of selfishness, are the two educational methods of parents; all gradations of tyranny or slavery.

Franz Kafka

The fact that our task is exactly commensurate with our life gives it the appearance of being infinite.

Franz Kafka

There are only two things. Truth and lies. Truth is indivisible, hence it cannot recognize itself; anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie.

Franz Kafka

The thornbush is the old obstacle in the road. It must catch fire if you want to go further.

Franz Kafka

The spirit becomes free only when it ceases to be a support.

Franz Kafka

The relationship to one’s fellow man is the relationship of prayer, the relationship to oneself is the relationship of striving; it is from prayer that one draws the strength for one’s striving.

Franz Kafka

The mediation by the serpent was necessary. Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.

Franz Kafka

The indestructible is one: it is each individual human being and, at the same time, it is common to all, hence the incomparably indivisible union that exists between human beings.

Franz Kafka

The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveler.

Franz Kafka

We all have wings, but they have not been of any avail to us and if we could tear them off, we would do so.

Franz Kafka

Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.

Franz Kafka

He who seeks does not find, but he who does not seek will be found.

Franz Kafka

God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

Evil is whatever distracts.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

Dread of night. Dread of not-night.

Franz Kafka

Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair.

Franz Kafka

My “fear” is my substance, and probably the best part of me.

Franz Kafka

By imposing too great a responsibility, or rather, all responsibility, on yourself, you crush yourself.

Franz Kafka

Heaven is dumb, echoing only the dumb.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

Don Quixote’s misfortune is not his imagination, but Sancho Panza.

Franz Kafka

Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

Anyone who cannot come to terms with his life while he is alive needs one hand to ward off a little his despair over his fate… but with his other hand he can note down what he sees among the ruins.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

A stair not worn hollow by footsteps is, regarded from its own point of view, only a boring something made of wood.

Franz Kafka

A man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it.

Franz Kafka

A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

It is not necessary that you leave the house. Remain at your table and listen. Do not even listen, only wait. Do not even wait, be wholly still and alone. The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.

Franz Kafka

In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.

Franz Kafka

It is comforting to reflect that the disproportion of things in the world seems to be only arithmetical.

Franz Kafka

Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.

Franz Kafka

It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.

Franz Kafka

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.

Franz Kafka

Let me remind you of the old maxim: people under suspicion are better moving than at rest, since at rest they may be sitting in the balance without knowing it, being weighed together with their sins.

Franz Kafka

Martyrs do not underrate the body, they allow it to be elevated on the cross. In this they are at one with their antagonists.

Franz Kafka

May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air.

Franz Kafka

In the struggle between yourself and the world second the world.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.

Franz Kafka

If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.

Franz Kafka

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without climbing it, it would have been permitted.

Franz Kafka

If I shall exist eternally, how shall I exist tomorrow?

Franz Kafka

Idleness is the beginning of all vice, the crown of all virtues.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world.

Franz Kafka

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

Franz Kafka

Hiding places there are innumerable, escape is only one, but possibilities of escape, again, are as many as hiding places.

Franz Kafka

In the fight between you and the world, back the world.

Franz Kafka

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