Talk:Franz Kafka

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How is a quote from Kafka's story "Give it up!" mis-attributed to him?

How is Kafka a "Bohemian"??

He was born and grew up in Prague (Praha), Czech Republic, in the former Bohemia. So he was Bohemian by geographical origin. He was ethnically Jewish, and he wrote in German, so he is considered a German writer. --Aphaia 30 June 2005 23:08 (UTC)

Is this a Kafka quote, and if so, from where? "The meaning of life is that it stops."

"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." "understanding" is not really a fitting translation of "Erkenntnis". I think that "cognition" would be more suitable.

Furthermore the quote is quite incomplete. "Ein Rest von Glauben wirkt dabei mit, während des Transportes werde zufällig der Herr durch den Gang kommen, den Gefangenen ansehen und sagen: 'Diesen sollt ihr nicht wieder einsperren. Er kommt zu mir.'" might push a interpretation into the correct direction. Here try of a translation: "A remainder of faith assists thereby, the Lord will appear in the corridor by coincidence, facing the prisoner saying: 'You shall not imprison this one again. He will come to me'"


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Franz Kafka. --Antiquary 19:33, 24 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within.
  • Books are a narcotic
  • Death confronts us not unlike the historical battle scene that hangs on the wall of the classroom. It is our task to obscure or quite obliterate the picture by our deeds while we are still in this world.
  • Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.
  • Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy. The chains of tormented mankind are made out of red tape.

Conversations with Kafka, by Gustav Janouch. Pg 120

  • Evil is whatever distracts.
  • I am free, that is why I'm lost.
  • I am nothing but a mass of spikes going through me.
  • I do not read advertisements — I would spend all my time wanting things
  • I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
  • I was so insecure about everything that all I was really sure of was what I already held in my hands or my mouth or what was well on its way there.
  • If the French were German in their essence, then how the Germans would admire them!
  • In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.
  • In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it.
  • It is the thousandth forgetting of a dream dreamt a thousand times and forgotten a thousand times, and who can damn us merely for forgetting for the thousandth time? [Investigations of a Dog]
  • It is your people who make the ultimate difference. You put the investment into training the people and then, when you get invited to the party with the big boys, that is a unique selling point.
  • It's often safer to be in chains than to be free.
    • Variant: It is often better to be in chains than to be free.
  • Leopards break into the temple and drink the sacrificial chalices dry; this occurs repeatedly, again and again; finally it can be reckoned upon beforehand and becomes part of the ceremony.
  • May I kiss you then? On this miserable paper? I might as well open the window and kiss the night air.
  • My fear... is my substance, and probably the best part of me.
  • My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.
  • My life is hesitation before birth.
  • My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication — it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness — it is all that I have — and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.
  • Paths are made by walking.
    • Wege entstehen dadurch, dass man sie geht.
  • Productivity is being able to do things that you were never able to do before.
I googled this and it's attributed to Jim Manzi here --Mathnerd314159 (talk) 21:38, 4 March 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.
  • The dream reveals the reality which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life — the terror of art.
  • The experience of life consists of the experience which the spirit has of itself in matter and as matter, in mind and as mind, in emotion, as emotion, etc.
  • The meaning of life is that it stops.
  • The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked.
  • There will be no proof that I ever was a writer
  • This inescapable duty to observe oneself: if someone else is observing me, naturally I have to observe myself too; if none observe me, I have to observe myself all the closer
  • This little woman, then, is very ill-pleased with me, she always finds something objectionable in me, I am always doing the wrong thing to her. I annoy her at every step; if a life could be cut into the smallest of small pieces and every scrap of it could be separately assessed, every scrap of my life would certainly be an offense to her.
  • We are sinful not merely because we have eaten of the tree of knowledge, but also because we have not eaten of the tree of life.
  • What does the court want with you? It receives you when you come and it dismisses you when you go.
  • What have I in common with Jews? I have hardly anything in common with myself.
  • Who has the gift to recognize beauty, will not live long
  • Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward.
  • You are free and that is why you are lost.
  • 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.
  • Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
  • All language is but a poor translation.
  • One sees the sun slowly set, yet one is surprised when it suddenly becomes dark.