Franz Kafka Quotes

Franz Kafka, a Bohemian novelist and short-story writer who wrote primarily in German and resided in Prague, holds a prominent stature as a key figure in 20th-century literature. His writing masterfully blends elements of realism with the fantastical, creating a unique and enduring literary legacy. Wikipedia

“Anyone who cares about you has to realize that you need a little looking after, nothing else really matters.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time…” ~ Franz Kafka

“In my letters it is my perpetual concern to free you of me, but when for once I seem to have succeeded, I go raving mad.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I’m doing badly, I’m doing well; whichever you prefer.” ~ Franz Kafka

“And I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.” ~ Franz Kafka

“For myself I am too heavy, and for you too light.” ~ Franz Kafka

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“I can’t hold enough of you in my hands.” ~ Franz Kafka

“But what shall I do when instead of a heart this fear is beating in my body?” ~ Franz Kafka

“What am I doing here in this endless winter?” ~ Franz Kafka

“I’m shocked to hear that you love me, and if I were not to hear it I’d want to die.” ~ Franz Kafka

“You’re really going, then? What shall I do? I cannot keep you. And If I could, I still wouldn’t want to.” ~ Franz Kafka

“…but what am I supposed to do if this fear, and not my heart, is beating in my body?” ~ Franz Kafka

“You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I looked at her much less often than I wanted to.” ~ Franz Kafka

“By your side I’m most quiet and most unquiet, most inhibited and most free.” ~ Franz Kafka

“From the true opponent, a limitless courage flows into you.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Once I enjoy a person, that joy knows no bounds.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I can love only what I can place so high above me that I cannot reach it.” ~ Franz Kafka

“If she loves me, I do not deserve it.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I need all the time and a thousand times more than all the time and if possible all the time that exists, for you, to think of you, to breathe in you.” ~ Franz Kafka

“She is a living fire, such as I have never seen; incidentally, a fire that, despite everything, burns only for him. At the same time she is extremely tender, brave, intelligent, and sacrifices everything, or if you prefer, acquires everything by sacrifice.” ~ Franz Kafka

“You are the knife I turn inside myself; that is love. That, my dear, is love.” ~ Franz Kafka

“With you in my heart I can bear everything…” ~ Franz Kafka

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.’”

“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.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Relationships are easier with animals than with men.” ~ Franz Kafka

“It was the uncertainty that was tormenting the others and excused their behavior.” ~ Franz Kafka

“But sleep? On a night like this? What an idea! Just think of how many thoughts a blanket smothers while one lies alone in bed, and how many unhappy dreams it keeps warm.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Torment yourself as little as possible, then you’ll torment me less.” ~ Franz Kafka

“They were given the choice to be kings or messengers. Like children, they all wanted to be messengers. That is why they’re running through each other and shouting to each other their meaningless messages because there are no kings. They would love to put an end to their miserable lives, but they do not dare to do so because of their oath to being a messenger.” ~ Franz Kafka

“In a way, you are poetry material; You are full of cloudy subtleties I am willing to spend a lifetime figuring out. Words burst in your essence and you carry their dust in the pores of your ethereal individuality.” ~ Franz Kafka

“My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest – so what is it then?” ~ Franz Kafka

“Mountain, I do not love you, for you remind me of the clouds, of the sunset, of the rising sky, and these are things that almost make me cry because one can never reach them.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I usually solve problems by letting them devour me.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Always only the desire to die and the not-yet-yielding; this alone is love.” ~ Franz Kafka

“The more one hesitates before the door, the more estranged one becomes.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I can’t think of any greater happiness than to be with you all the time, without interruption, endlessly, even though I feel that here in this world there’s no undisturbed place for our love, neither in the village nor anywhere else; and I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Life’s slendor 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, but its right name, it will come.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Art for the artist, is only suffering through which he releases himself for further suffering.” ~ Franz Kafka

“After all one has the right to be tired just before the end . . .” ~ Franz Kafka

“I never wish to be easily defined.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I do not speak as I think, I do not think as I should, and so it all goes on in helpless darkness.” ~ Franz Kafka

“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.” ~ Franz Kafka

“A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Please, consider me a dream.” ~ Franz Kafka

“What I have to do, I can do only alone.” ~ Franz Kafka

“So much light and so empty.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I can never tear myself open wide enough to people to reveal everything and so frighten them away.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Unfortunately one can never quite forget about them, especially during the night.” ~ Franz Kafka

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“I love you enough to rid myself of anything that might trouble you. I will become another person.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I look a girl in the eye and it was a very long love story with thunder and kisses and lightning. I live fast.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I mustn’t look at you too much, or I won’t be able to take my eyes off you at all.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I had been sad without any good reason. I am after all the most inconsistent person I know, and if I did not love you once and for all, I would love you anyway simply for being unafraid of this inconsistency.” ~ Franz Kafka

“You belong to me, I have made you mine. I have fought for you within myself, from the beginning, and always anew, and perhaps forever.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I’m tired, can’t think of anything and want only to lay my face in your lap, feel your hand on my head and remain like that through all eternity.” ~ Franz Kafka

“The man in ecstasy and the man drowning — both throw up their arms” ~ Franz Kafka

“But that is past and should remain deep in the past.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Since I met you, I’ve felt abandoned without your nearness; your nearness is all I ever dream of, the only thing.” ~ Franz Kafka

“…most of all, I’d like to have all the time there is just for you, for thinking about you, for breathing in you.” ~ Franz Kafka

“It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves.” ~ Franz Kafka

“My talent for portraying my dreamlike inner life has thrust all other matters into the background; my life has dwindled dreadfully, nor will it cease to dwindle. Nothing else will ever satisfy me.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I experience not only my own suffering, but even more that which I inflict upon you.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I am not actually tired, but numb and heavy, and can’t find the right words. All I can say is: Stay with me, don’t leave me.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember; all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.” ~ Franz Kafka

“All human errors stem from impatience, a premature breaking off of a methodical approach.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I’m always trying to convey something that can’t be conveyed…to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I am the end or the beginning.” ~ Franz Kafka

“The dream reveals the reality, which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life—the terror of art.” ~ Franz Kafka

“When I arbitrarily write a single sentence, for instance, ‘He looked out of the window,’ it already has perfection.” ~ Franz Kafka

“There are times when I am convinced I am unfit for any human relationship.” ~ Franz Kafka

“2 November. This morning, for the first time in a long time, the joy again of imagining a knife twisted in my heart.” ~ Franz Kafka

“And whether you like it or not, I belong to you.” ~ Franz Kafka

“The infinite feeling continues to be as infinite in words as it was in the heart.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I do not see the world at all; I invent it.” ~ Franz Kafka

“And I kissed her—kissed her—her mouth, her ear, her shoulder.” ~ Franz Kafka

“If you become involved with me, you will be throwing yourself into the abyss.” ~ Franz Kafka

“My happiness, my abilities, and every possibility of being useful in any way have always been in the literary field.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us anymore.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I have a difficult task ahead of me and I have dedicated my whole life to it.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Forget everything. Open the windows. Clear the room. The wind blows through it. You see only its emptiness, you search in every corner and don’t find yourself.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I never wish to be easily defined. I’d rather float over other people’s minds as something strictly fluid and non-perceivable; more like a transparent, paradoxically iridescent creature rather than an actual person.” ~ Franz Kafka

“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Isolation is a way to know ourselves.” ~ Franz Kafka

“How everything can be said, how far everything, for the strangest fancies, there waits a great fire in which they perish and rise up again. . . . Only in this way can writing be done, only with such coherence, with such a complete opening out of the body and the soul.” ~ Franz Kafka

“Nothing holds me. Let me say that I myself have torn myself to shreds.” ~ Franz Kafka

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

“She is suffering and is at the same time calm and gay.” ~ Franz Kafka

“There is no need for you to leave the house. Stay at your table and listen. “Don’t even listen, just wait. Don’t even wait, be completely quiet and alone. The world will offer itself to you to be unmasked; it can’t do otherwise; in raptures it will writhe before you.” ~ 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

“Did I matter to you especially today?” ~ Franz Kafka

“I belong to you; there is really no other way of expressing it, and that is not strong enough.” ~ Franz Kafka

“…I live with you better than with anybody else.” ~ Franz Kafka

“What if I slept a little more and forgot about all this nonsense.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I have hardly anything in common with myself.” ~ Franz Kafka

“We were so different and in our difference so dangerous to each other.” ~ Franz Kafka

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“I look for you everywhere; small gestures made by all kinds of people in the street remind me of you, by their similarity as much as by their differences, but I cannot say what is obsessing me; it obsesses me utterly and leaves no strength to express it.” ~ Franz Kafka

“He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I do not know myself completely.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I miss you deeply, unfathomably, senselessly, terribly.” ~ Franz Kafka

“I have no memory for things I have learned, nor things I have read, nor things experienced or heard, neither for people nor events; I feel that I have experienced nothing, learned nothing, that I actually know less than the average schoolboy, and that what I do know is superficial, and that every second question is beyond me. I am incapable of thinking deliberately; my thoughts run into a wall. I can grasp the essence of things in isolation, but I am quite incapable of coherent, unbroken thinking. I can’t even tell a story properly; in fact, I can scarcely talk.” ~ Franz Kafka

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