Simply to say something is not enough. One must live it. And for this language is an essential intermediary, something living, a medium. Yet language also must not be used as a means but must be experienced, suffered. Language is an eternal mistress.
— Franz Kafka (Conversations With Kafka by Gustav Janouch)
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.
— Franz Kafka
Kafka said, A book
must be an axe
for the frozen sea
inside us, which sounds
great, but what good
is an axe against
a frozen sea?
Perhaps this is why
he said, while dying,
— Matt Rasmussen
We are meaningless and alone, yet can’t help but yearn for it all to matter.
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, The Castle
31 July 1917
Sit in a train, forget the fact, and live as if you were at home; but
suddenly recollect where you are, feel the onward-rushing power of
the train; change into a traveller, take a cap out of your bag, meet
your fellow travellers with a more sovereign freedom, with more
insistence, let yourself be carried toward your destination by no
effort of your own, enjoy it like a child, become a darling of the
women, feel the perpetual attraction of the window, always have at
least one hand extended on the window sill. Same situation, more
precisely stated: Forget that you forgot, change in an instant into a
child travelling by itself on an express train around whom the
speeding, trembling car materializes in its every fascinating detail
as if out of a magician’s hand.
— Franz Kafka, diary entry
How I feared to touch them with a word…because the truth of my impression was so impossible to express. Everyone seemed false to me.
— Franz Kafka, Diaries 1910-1913
In that case, I’ll miss the thing by waiting for it.
Jiří Slíva - Kafkovy atribudy, 1992. litografie, 43x33 cm
Truth is never and nowhere more accessible than in the instant of one’s own life.
— Franz Kafka, Conversations With Kafka by Gustav Janouch
Evil does not exist; once you have crossed the threshold, all is good. Once in another world, you must hold your tongue.
— Franz Kafka