We are grateful we get to read the mind-altering thoughts of Kafka.
“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”
“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”
“The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune,that makes us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide,lost in a forest remote from all human habitation”
Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
“It would have been so pointless to kill himself that, even if he had wanted to, the pointlessness would have made him unable.”
“Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live.”
“You must not pay too much attention to opinions. The written word is unalterable, and opinions are often only an expression of despair.”
“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.”
“Of course I’m ignorant, that remains true at all events and is extremely distressing for me, but it does have the advantage that the ignorant man dares more, so I shall gladly put up with ignorance and its undoubtedly dire consequences for a while, as long as my strength lasts.”