Quotes by Franz Kafka

Share Your Quotes Join Us Inspire & Move Your Friends

How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Franz Kafka (July 3, 1883 June 3, 1924) was one of the major German-language novelists and short story writers of the 20th century, most of whose works were published posthumously. Born in Prague of Jewish descent, his unique ... more

Add to my favourites Get these quotes on a PDF
A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.

Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
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.
Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air.
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.
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.
All human errors are impatience, a premature breaking off of methodical procedure, an apparent fencing-in of what is apparently at issue.
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.
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.
In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it.
My fear... is my substance, and probably the best part of me.
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.
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.
A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.
Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.