photo of Franz KafkaPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Franz Kafka. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-speaking Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity.

His best known works include "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), Der Process (The Trial), and Das Schloss (The Castle). The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those found in his writing.

Kafka was born into a middle-class German-Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today the capital of the Czech Republic. He trained as a lawyer and after completing his legal education was employed full-time by an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time.

Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis.

Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: the story collections Betrachtung (Contemplation) and Ein Landarzt (A Country Doctor), and individual stories (such as "Die Verwandlung") were published in literary magazines but received little public attention. In his will, Kafka instructed his executor and friend Max Brod to destroy his unfinished works, including his novels Der Process, Das Schloss and Der Verschollene (translated as both Amerika and The Man Who Disappeared), but Brod ignored these instructions. His work has influenced a vast range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers during the 20th and 21st centuries.

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn't yet lived.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.

--Franz Kafka

Longer Version:

You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart; imagine my heartbeat when you are in this state.


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Sleep is the most innocent creature there is and a sleepless man
the most guilty.

--Franz Kafka
man and woman with dog on woods

Paths are made by walking.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

If you have food in your jaws you have solved all questions for the time being.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

No matter how much you keep encouraging someone who is blindfolded to stare through the cloth, he still won't see a thing.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

You are free and that is why you are lost.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

A First Sign of the Beginning of Understanding is the Wish to Die.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Towards the avoidance of a piece of verbal confusion: What is intended to be actively destroyed must first of all have been firmly grasped; what crumbles away crumbles away, but cannot be destroyed.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The chains that cuff humanity are made of office paper.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

This noble body, equipped with everything necessary, almost to the point of bursting, also appeared to carry freedom around with it.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Everything you say is boring and incomprehensible, but that alone doesn't make it true.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

If you were to articulate it, who would be able to resist you? The great chorus of caninity would chime in with you, as if it had just been waiting for this moment.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I asked myself at the time: how is it that she is not astonished at herself, that she keeps her mouth closed, and expresses nothing of any wonderment?

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I only fear danger where I want to fear it.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It would be very unjust to say that you deserted me, but that I was deserted, and sometimes terribly so, is true.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Picasso only registers the deformities which have not yet penetrated our consciousness. Art is a mirror which goes 'fast' like a watch -- sometimes.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I am a retiring, silent, unsociable, and discontent person.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back into the darkness of the Ark.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Silence, I believe, avoids me, as water on the beach avoids stranded fish.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The true way goes over a line that, rather than spanning heights, is hardly above the ground. It appears more decidedly to make one trip than to be walked along.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

There is a destination but no way there; what we refer to as way is hesitation.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

You are so vulnerably haunting. Your eeriness is terrifyingly irresistible.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It is only because of their stupidity that they are able to be so sure of themselves.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

To animalise is humane, to humanise is animal.

--Franz Kafka


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

This morning, for the first time in a long time, the joy again of imagining a knife twisted in my heart.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I always succeed in not being jealous but only sometimes in comprehending the pointlessness of jealousy.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Wherever I turn, the black wave rushes down on me.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

All right then, I'll be mad at you on this score, which incidentally is no great misfortune, as things balance out quite well if there's a little anger for you lurking in one corner of my heart.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I carry the bars within me.

--Franz Kafka


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

All I am is literature, and I am not able or willing to be anything else.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Kill me, or you are a murderer.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a brief.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

People label themselves with all sorts of adjectives. I can only pronounce myself as 'nauseatingly miserable beyond repair'.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Two tasks at the beginning of your life: to narrow your orbit more and more, and ever and again to check whether you are not in hiding somewhere outside your orbit.

--Franz Kafka



photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The relief of giving in to destruction.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It occurs to me that I really can't remember your face in any precise detail. Only the way you walked away through the tables in the café, your figure, your dress, that I still see.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

He is a land surveyor, well, perhaps that is something, he has trained at something, but if there's nothing you can do with that training then it means nothing.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The purpose of a story is to be an axe that breaks up the ice within us.

--Franz Kafka


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The existence of the writer is an argument against the existence of the soul, for the soul has obviously taken flight from the real ego, but not improved itself, only become a writer.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

But all remains unchanged.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

But what if all the tranquility, all the comfort, all the contentment were now to come to a horrifying end?

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

How unreasonable I'm being!

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

In a way, I was safe writing.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I do not see the world at all; I invent it.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

From the true antagonist illimitable courage is transmitted to you.
To what indifference people may come, to what profound conviction of having lost the right track forever.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I am fond of lovers but I cannot love, I am too far away, am banished,.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Nothing is as deceptive as a photograph.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Agreement is the best weapon of defense―and the matter would be buried.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

From a real antagonist one gains boundless courage.

--Franz Kafka



photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows.

--Franz Kafka


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

It's sometimes quite astonishing that a single, average life is enough to encompass so much that it's at all possible ever to have any success in one's work here.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

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
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

There is nothing bad to fear; once you have crossed that threshold, all is well. Another world, and you do not have to speak.

--Franz Kafka


photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

I passed by the brothel as though
past the house of a beloved.

--Franz Kafka

photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

What is written is merely the dregs of experience.

--Franz Kafka




photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Faith, like a guillotine. As heavy, as light.

--Franz Kafka
photo of author Franz Kafka with quote

Only our concept of time makes it possible for us to speak of the Day of Judgement by that name; in reality it is a constant court in perpetual session.

--Franz Kafka


We wish you a perfect day!