Top 10 Franz Kafka Quotes
#10 - WISH
WISH Image

"The other day I wrote down the following wish: 'When passing a house, to be pulled in through the ground-floor window by a rope tied around one's neck and to be hauled up, bloody and ragged, through all the ceilings, furniture, walls, and attics, without consideration, as if by a person who is paying no attention, until the empty noose, dropping the last shreds of me when breaking through the roof tiles, appears on the roof."
—letter, September 2, 1915

#09 - DAY OF JUDGMENT
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"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 court in perpetual session."
Reflections on Sin, Pain, Hope and the True Way, 1917-1920

#08 - CHAINS
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"It's often safer to be in chains than to be free."
The Trial, 1925

#07 - PERFECT HAPPINESS
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"In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it."
Aphorisms, 1918

#06 - GUIDING PRINCIPLE
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"My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted."
In The Penal Settlement

#05 - RUINS
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"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."
–diary entry, October 19, 1921

#04 - THE TRUE WAY
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"The true way is along a rope that is not spanned high in the air, but only just above the ground. It seems intended more to cause stumbling than to be walked upon."
Aphorisms, 1918

#03 - NEW FORCES
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"Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair. Just when everything seems over with, new forces come marching up, and precisely that means that you are alive. And if they don't, then everything is over with here, once and for all."
—diary entry, July 21, 1913

#02 - FROZEN SEA
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"I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? . . . [W]e need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us."
—letter to Oskar Pollak, January 27, 1904

#01 - LIFE'S SPLENDOR
LIFE'S SPLENDOR Image

"Life's splendor forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come."
—diary entry, October 18, 1921

User Comments - Add a Comment
joyce - 2008-04-19 06:22:25
"I can prove at any time that my education tried to make another person out of me than the one I became. It is for the harm, therefore, that my educators could have done me in accordance with their intentions that I reproach them; I demand from their hands the person I now am, and since they cannot give him to me, I make of my reproach and laughter a drumbeat sounding in the world beyond."
ajfoucault - 2008-04-20 12:19:22
"The tremendous world I have inside my head. But how free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me."
Brian - 2008-08-12 19:04:23
"By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."
trace - 2008-09-05 20:13:46

"A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light." -Kafka

Jeffrey Garten - 2010-05-20 16:22:57

"There is hope, but not for us."

Dave Linehan - 2011-01-26 17:16:15

I've personally experienced the great injustice of being accused by a criminal Florida State Trooper of a false charge (David A. Sims) and railroaded through the corrupt court system to defraud me out of my $300K auto policy benefits with State Farm Insurance. In the end, they also held me liable for the suicide death of the other driver. I have been fighting for justice for twenty years but there is no justice. Criminal cops, attorneys and government = Truth, justice and the American way!