Gregor, open up, I'm pleading with you.' But Gregor had absolutely no intention of opening the door and complimented himself instead on the precaution he had adopted from his business trips of locking all the doors during the night even at home.

Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: Austrian

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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.

The onlookers go rigid when the train goes past.

It's characteristic of this judicial system that a man is condemned not only when he's innocent but also in ignorance.

In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.

I am on the hunt for constructions. I come into a room and find them whitely merging in a corner.

Life is merely terrible; I feel it as few others do. Often — and in my inmost self perhaps all the time — I doubt whether I am a human being.

All he wanted to do now was to get up quietly and undisturbed, get dressed, and, most important, eat breakfast, and only then consider what to do next, because, as he was well aware, in bed he could never think of anything through to a reasonable conclusion.

No sooner said than done - so acts your man of worth.

And for a little while he lay still, breathing lightly as if he expected total repose would restore everything to its normal and unquestionable state.

I can't feel a thing; All mournful petal storms are dancing inside the very private spring of my head.

Whatever he may seem to us, he is yet a servant of the Law; that is, he belongs to the Law and as such is set beyond human judgment.

Asking questions were the most important thing.

One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back into the darkness of the Ark.

Some books seem like a key to unfamiliar rooms in one's own castle… We need the 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 inside us.