Quotes from Diaries of Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka ·  528 pages

Rating: (2.4K votes)


“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“April 27. Incapable of living with people, of speaking. Complete immersion in myself, thinking of myself. Apathetic, witless, fearful. I have nothing to say to anyone - never.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“People label themselves with all sorts of adjectives. I can only pronounce myself as 'nauseatingly miserable beyond repair'.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Life's splendor 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, by its right name, it will come.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Nervous states of the worst sort control me without pause. Everything that is not literature bores me and I hate it. I lack all aptitude for family life except, at best, as an observer. I have no family feeling and visitors make me almost feel as though I were maliciously being attacked.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



“The person I am in the company of my sisters has been entirely different from the person I am in the company of other people. Fearless, powerful, surprising, moved as I otherwise am only when I write.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Being alone has a power over me that never fails. My interior dissolves (for the time being only superficially) and is ready to release what lies deeper. When I am willfully alone, a slight ordering of my interior begins to take place and I need nothing more.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Should I be grateful or should I curse the fact that despite all misfortune I can still feel love, an unearthly love but still for earthly objects.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Forget everything. Open the windows. Clear the room. The wind blows through it. You see only its emptiness, you search in every corner and don’t find yourself.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“2 November. This morning, for the first time in a long time, the joy again of imagining a knife twisted in my heart.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



“It would be very unjust to say that you deserted me, but that I was deserted, and sometimes terribly so, is true.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest – so what is it then?”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“My doubts stand in a circle around every word, I see them before I see the word, but what then! I do not see the word at all, I invent it.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“I feel an unhappiness which almost dismembers me, and at the same time am convinced of its necessity”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“the poisonous world flows into my mouth like water into that of a drowning man”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



“There sat I, a faded being, under faded leaves.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“My job is unbearable to me because it conflicts with my only desire and my only calling, which is literature. Since I am nothing but literature and can and want to be nothing else, my job will never take possession of me, it may, however, shatter me completely, and this is by no means a remote possibility.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Don't you want to join us?" I was recently asked by an acquaintance when he ran across me alone after midnight in a coffeehouse that was already almost deserted. "No, I don't," I said.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“There can be no more beautiful spot to die in, no spot more worthy of total despair, than one’s own novel.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Lost among these entirely strange people.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



“Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair. Just when everything seems over with, new forces come marching up, and precisely that means that you are alive. And if they don't, then everything is over with here, once and for all.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“But I will write in spite of everything, absolutely; it is my struggle for self-preservation.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“If something good has lost its way into you, it will make its escape overnight. I know you.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“I ought to be able to invent words capable of blowing the odor of corpses in a direction other than straight into mine and the reader's face.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“Always only the desire to die and the not-yet-yielding; this alone is love.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



“Down Here and up there are all the same to me. Whether I lie here in the gutter and stow away the rain water or drink champagne up there with the same lips makes no difference to me, not even in the taste.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“It is as if I were made of stone, as if I were my own tombstone, there is no loophole for doubt or for faith, for love or repugnance, for courage or anxiety, in particular or in general, only a vague hope lives on, but no better than the inscriptions on tombstones.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“There am I. I cannot leave. I have nothing to complain about. I do not suffer excessively, for I do not suffer consistently, it does not pile up, at least I do not feel it for the time being, and the degree of my suffering is far less than the suffering that is perhaps my due.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“I didn’t want any new clothes at all; because if I had to look ugly anyway, I wanted to at least be comfortable. I let the awful clothes affect even my posture, walked around with my back bowed, my shoulders drooping, my hands and arms all over the place. I was afraid of mirrors, because they showed an inescapable ugliness.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka


“This afternoon the pain occasioned by my loneliness came upon me so piercingly and intensely that I became aware that the strength which I gain through this writing thus spends itself, a strength which I certainly have not intended for this purpose.”
― Franz Kafka, quote from Diaries of Franz Kafka



About the author

Franz Kafka
Born place: in Prague, Austria-Hungary
Born date July 3, 1883
See more on GoodReads

Popular quotes

“The girl arrived; I thought her handsome; and as I doubted not that you would be mortified by my absence, I did most sincerely hope that she would be able to dissipate something of your ennui: for it is the fidelity of the heart alone that I value.”
― Antoine François Prévost, quote from Manon Lescaut


“In the arc of an unremarkable life, a life whose triumphs are small and personal, whose trials are ordinary enough, as tempered in their pain as in their resolution of pain, the claim of exclusivity in love requires both a certain kind of courage and a good dose of delusion.”
― Alice McDermott, quote from Charming Billy


“La mayoría de las personas preferirían vivir dentro de sus medios que expandir sus medios.”
― Robert T. Kiyosaki, quote from Rich Dad's Retire Young, Retire Rich: How to Get Rich Quickly and Stay Rich Forever!


“I'm not made to philosophize, I don't have the heart for it. My heart is more like a machine for making blood to be spilled in a knife fight...”
― Camilo José Cela, quote from The Family of Pascual Duarte


“Needing people yet being afraid of them is wearing me out.”
― Janice Galloway, quote from The Trick is to Keep Breathing


Interesting books

The Hunting of the Snark
(4.5K)
The Hunting of the S...
by Lewis Carroll
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future (Updated With a New Epilogue)
(2.6K)
The Chalice and the...
by Riane Eisler
Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality
(9.9K)
Sex God: Exploring t...
by Rob Bell
Just Breathe
(10.8K)
Just Breathe
by Susan Wiggs
Very Good, Jeeves!
(7.8K)
Very Good, Jeeves!
by P.G. Wodehouse
Rabbit Redux
(12.3K)
Rabbit Redux
by John Updike

About BookQuoters

BookQuoters is a community of passionate readers who enjoy sharing the most meaningful, memorable and interesting quotes from great books. As the world communicates more and more via texts, memes and sound bytes, short but profound quotes from books have become more relevant and important. For some of us a quote becomes a mantra, a goal or a philosophy by which we live. For all of us, quotes are a great way to remember a book and to carry with us the author’s best ideas.

We thoughtfully gather quotes from our favorite books, both classic and current, and choose the ones that are most thought-provoking. Each quote represents a book that is interesting, well written and has potential to enhance the reader’s life. We also accept submissions from our visitors and will select the quotes we feel are most appealing to the BookQuoters community.

Founded in 2023, BookQuoters has quickly become a large and vibrant community of people who share an affinity for books. Books are seen by some as a throwback to a previous world; conversely, gleaning the main ideas of a book via a quote or a quick summary is typical of the Information Age but is a habit disdained by some diehard readers. We feel that we have the best of both worlds at BookQuoters; we read books cover-to-cover but offer you some of the highlights. We hope you’ll join us.