Franz Kafka was asked if he saw any hope. This is what he replied.
Franz Kafka et al. to Kurt Wolff, 1913:
Franz Kafka is often pictured as a solitary figure, brooding alone in his room. The postcard above is evidence of Kafka’s social side. It was sent on March 25, 1913 from Charlottenburg, a district of Berlin, where Kafka was meeting with a group of fellow authors who shared the same publisher. The writers decided to send a group postcard to their publisher Kurt Wolff. Kafka writes “Best greetings from a plenary session of authors of your house. Otto Pick, Albert Ehrenstein, Carl Ehrenstein. Dear Herr Wolff: Pay no attention to what Werfel tells you! He does not know a word of the story. As soon as I have a clean copy made, I will of course be glad to send it to you. Sincerely, F. Kafka.” At the bottom, in another hand, is written “Cordial greetings from Paul Zech,” and on the front of the postcard is a drawing by Else Lasker-Schuler with the name “Abigail Basileus III” next to it. The “Werfel” Kafka refers to is the Austrian-Bohemian writer Franz Werfel, who had told Wolff about Kafka’s unpublished novella, The Metamorphosis. Wolff had expressed interest in seeing “the bug story.” He published it two years later, in 1915.
Looking on oneself as something alien, forgetting the sight, remembering the gaze.
— Franz Kafka, Notebooks December 9, 1917
The truth that lies closest, however, is only this; that you are beating your head against the wall of a windowless and doorless cell.
You are being judged not because you did something wrong, it is because you were accused of doing something wrong.
— 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;
from a diary
entry dated 23 March 1914.
Unnoticeable life. Noticeable failures.
Franz Kafka interviewing Gregor Samsa and Friend, 1915.
You are, at once, both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.
When one is alone, imperfection must be endured every minute of the day; a couple, however, does not have to put up with it. Aren’t our eyes made to be torn out, and our hearts for the same purpose? At the same time it’s really not that bad; that’s an exaggeration and a lie, everything is exaggeration, the only truth is longing. But even the truth of longing is not so much its own truth; it’s really an expression for everything else, which is a lie. This sounds crazy and distorted, but it’s true. Moreover, perhaps it isn’t love when I say you are what I love the most - you are the knife I turn inside myself, this is love. This, my dear, is love.
— Franz Kafka, Letters To Milena
So much light and so empty.
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.