25 Famous Reading and Writing Quotes from Franz Kafka

“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” – Franz Kafka

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

“Books are a narcotic.” ― Franz Kafka

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

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

“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

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

“Writing is prayer.” ― Franz Kafka

“What I write is different from what I say, what I say is different from what I think, what I think is different from what I ought to think and so it goes further into the deepest darkness.” ― Franz Kafka

“I can’t think of anything to write about, I’m just walking around here between the lines, under the light of your eyes, in the breadth of your mouth as in a beautiful happy day, which remains beautiful and happy, even when the head is sick and tired.” ― Franz Kafka

“Each of us has his own way of emerging from the underworld, mine is by writing. That’s why the only way I can keep going, if at all, is by writing, not through rest and sleep. I am far more likely to achieve peace of mind through writing than the capacity to write through peace.” ― Franz Kafka

“I see, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”
― Franz Kafka

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

“I am away from home and must always write home, even if any home of mine has long since floated away into eternity.” ― Franz Kafka

“Our winters are very long here, very long and very monotonous. But we don’t complain about it downstairs, we’re shielded against the winter. Oh, spring does come eventually, and summer, and they last for a while, but now, looking back, spring and summer seem too short, as if they were not much more than a couple of days, and even on those days, no matter how lovely the day, it still snows occasionally.” ― Franz Kafka

“What is written is merely the dregs of experience.” ― Franz Kafka

“But I will write in spite of everything, absolutely; it is my struggle for self-preservation.” ― Franz Kafka

“In a way, I was safe writing” ― Franz Kafka

“I have no literary interests; I am made of literature. I am nothing else and cannot be anything else.” ― Franz Kafka

“My writing was all about you; all I did there, after all, was to bemoan what I could not bemoan upon your breast.” ― Franz Kafka

“Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one’s own castle.” ― Franz Kafka

“I hate everything that does not relate to literature, conversations bore me (even when they relate to literature), to visit people bores me, the joys and sorrows of my relatives bore me to my soul. Conversation takes the importance, the seriousness, the truth, out of everything I think.” ― Franz Kafka

“I am nothing but literature, and can and want to be nothing else.”
― Franz Kafka

“You once said that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all.” ― Franz Kafka

“You spend too much time on ephemeras. The majority of modern books are merely wavering reflections of the present. They disappear very quickly. You should read more old books. The classics. Goethe. What is merely new is the most transitory of all things. It is beautiful today, and tomorrow merely ludicrous.”
― Franz Kafka

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