Q – Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka 1883 – 1924 was a German speaking Jewish novelist and short story writer, who is considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th Century.

 

‘Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old’

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‘From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached’

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‘Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made’

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‘The history of mankind is the instant between two strides taken by a traveller’

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‘Don’t despair, not even over the fact that you don’t despair’

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‘Anything that has real and lasting value is always a gift from within’

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‘You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet’

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‘It is often safer to be in chains than to be free’

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‘I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy’

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‘You are free, and that is why you are lost’

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‘Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly’

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‘So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being’

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‘One must not cheat anyone, not even the world of its victory’

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‘If you find someone who makes you smile who checks up on you often to see if you’re okay. Who watches out for you and wants the best for you. Who loves and respects you. Don’t let them go. People like that are hard to find’

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‘Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable’

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‘The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other’

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‘I am a cage, in search of a bird’

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‘First impressions are always unreliable’

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‘Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self’

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‘The true word leads, the untrue misleads’

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‘Do not waste your time looking for an obstacle; maybe there is none’

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‘Life’s splendour forever lies in wait about each one of us in all its fullness, but veiled from view, deep down, invisible, far off. It is there, though, not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, but its right name, it will come’

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‘A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us’

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‘I can love only what I can place so high above me that I cannot reach it’

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‘Love is a drama of contradictions’

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‘Better to have, and not need; than to need, and not have’

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‘All that you are seeking is also seeking you’

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‘It is only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves’

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‘You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the word, 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’

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‘By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired’

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