Franz Kafka Quotes about Education & Dogs


“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.”

– Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka 1910-1923


 “All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers, is contained in the dog. If one could but realize this knowledge, if one could but bring it into the light of day, if we dogs would but own that we know infinitely more than we admit to ourselves!”

– Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Happiness


 “Theoretically there is a perfect possibility of happiness: believing in the indestructible element in oneself and not striving towards it.”
– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“What is happier than believing in a household god?”
– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Life


“We are as forlorn as children lost in the woods. When you stand in front of me and look at me, what do you know of the griefs that are in me and what do I know of yours. And if I were to cast myself down before you and weep and tell you, what more would you know about me than you know about Hell when someone tells you it is hot and dreadful? For that reason alone we human beings ought to stand before one another as reverently, as reflectively, as lovingly, as we would before the entrance to Hell.”

– Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak, November 8, 1903


“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.”

– Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka 1910-1923


“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence… Someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence, certainly never.”

– Franz Kafka, “The Silence of the Sirens”


“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.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Leopards break into the temple and drink to the dregs what is in the sacrificial pitchers; this is repeated over and over again; finally it can be calculated in advance, and it becomes a part of the ceremony.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


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

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Hiding places there are innumerable, escape is only one, but possibilities for escape, again, are as many as hiding places. There is a goal, but no way; what we call a way is hesitation.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


 “His weariness is that of the gladiator after the combat; his work was the whitewashing of a corner in a state official’s office.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“One of the first signs of the beginnings of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one will only in time come to hate.”

– Franz Kafka


“”Don’t you want to join us?” I was recently asked by an acquaintance when he ran across me alone after midnight in a coffeehouse that was already almost deserted. “No, I don’t,” I said.”

– Franz Kafka, The Diaries of Franz Kafka 1910-1923


“How much my life has changed, and yet how unchanged it has remained at bottom! When I think back and recall the time when I was still a member of the canine community, sharing in all its preoccupations, a dog among dogs, I find on closer examination that from the very beginning I sensed some discrepancy, some little maladjustment, causing a slight feeling of discomfort which not even the most decorous public functions could eliminate; more, that sometimes, no, not sometimes, but very often, the mere look of some fellow dog of my own circle that I was fond of, the mere look of him, as if I had just caught it for the first time, would fill me with helpless embarrassment and fear, even with despair.”

– Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories


“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even 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, Aphorisms


“In the struggle between yourself and the world, back the world.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


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

– Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories

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Inspirational Quotes by Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka Quotes about Literature


 

“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? …we 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.”

– Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Love


 “In this love you are like a knife, with which I explore myself.”

– Franz Kafka, Letter to Milena Jesenská


“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, Aphorisms


“Now at last I can look at you in peace, I don’t eat you anymore.”

– Franz Kafka, Quotes from Franz Kafka: A Biography (1960) by Max Brod

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Religion & Paradise


“Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made. That is not the sort of belief that indicates real faith.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, though both the indestructible element and the trust may remain permanently hidden from him. One of the ways in which this hiddenness can express itself is through faith in a personal god.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


 “There are questions we could not get past if we were not set free from them by our very nature.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“The fact that there is nothing but a spiritual world deprives us of hope and gives us certainty.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Expulsion from Paradise is in its main aspect eternal: that is to say, although expulsion from Paradise is final, and life in the world unavoidable, the eternity of the process (or, expressed in temporal terms, the eternal repetition of the process) nevertheless makes it possible not only that we might remain in Paradise permanently, but that we may in fact be there permanently, no matter whether we know it here or not.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“If what was supposed to have been destroyed in Paradise was destructible, then it was not decisive; but if it was indestructible, then we are living in a false belief.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

 


 “A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


 “The first worship of idols was certainly fear of the things in the world, but, connected with this, fear of the necessity of the things, and, connected with this, fear of responsibility for the things. So tremendous did this responsibility appear that people did not even dare to impose it upon one single extra-human entity, for even the mediation of one being would not have sufficiently lightened human responsibility, intercourse with only one being would still have been all too deeply tainted with responsibility, and that is why each things was given the responsibility for itself, more indeed, these things were also given a degree of responsibility for man.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

 


“Anyone who believes cannot experience miracles. By day one does not see any stars. Anyone who does miracles says: I cannot let go of the earth.”

– Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks


“Religions get lost as people do.”

– Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks


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

– Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Time


 “It is only our conception of time that makes us call the Last Judgment by this name. It is, in fact, a kind of martial law.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“The way is infinitely long, nothing of it can be subtracted, nothing can be added, and yet everyone applies his own childish yardstick to it. “Certainly, this yard of the way you still have to go, too, and it will be accounted unto you.”

– Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Sin & Evilness


  “All human errors are impatience, the premature breaking off of what is methodical, an apparent fencing in of the apparent thing.”

– Franz Kafka


“There are two main human sins from which all the others derive: impatience and indolence. It was because of impatience that they were expelled from Paradise; it is because of indolence that they do not return. Yet perhaps there is only one major sin: impatience. Because of impatience they were expelled, because of impatience they do not return.”

– Franz Kafka


“The ulterior motives with which you absorb and assimilate Evil are not your own but those of Evil.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“When one has once accepted and absorbed Evil, it no longer demands to be believed.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“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, Aphorisms


“The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the master’s whiplash.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


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

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“One can disintegrate the world by means of very strong light. For weak eyes the world becomes solid, for still weaker eyes it seems to develop fists, for eyes weaker still it becomes shamefaced and smashes anyone who dares to gaze upon it.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Suffering


 “We too must suffer all the suffering around us. We all have not one body, but we have one way of growing, and this leads us through all anguish, whether in this or in that form. Just as the child develops through all the stages of life right into old age and to death (and fundamentally to the earlier stage the later one seems out of reach, in relation both to desire and to fear), so also do we develop (no less deeply bound up with mankind than with ourselves) through all the sufferings of this world. There is no room for justice in this context, but neither is there any room either for fear of suffering or for the interpretation of suffering as a merit.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“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, Aphorisms


“A cage went in search of a bird.”

– Franz Kafka

“Ours is a lost generation, it may be, but it is more blameless than those earlier generations.”

– Franz Kafka, The Complete Stories


 “There was once a community of scoundrels, that is to say, they were not scoundrels, but ordinary people.”

– Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks

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Franz Kafka Quotes about Virtue


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

– Franz Kafka, The Blue Octavo Notebooks


 “In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“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.’

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms


“Humility provides everyone, even him who despairs in solitude, with the strongest relationship to his fellow man, and this immediately, though, of course, only in the case of complete and permanent humility. It can do this because it is the true language of prayer, at once adoration and the firmest of unions. 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, Aphorisms


“What is meant by its nature for the highest and the best, spreads among the lowly people.”

– Franz Kafka, Quotes from Franz Kafka: A Biography (1960) by Max Brod

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