Kafka quotes:

  • I did my dissertation on Kafka. -- Jessie Ware
  • Kafka: cries of helplessness in twenty powerful volumes. -- Mason Cooley
  • Kafka is still unrecognized. He thought he was a comic writer. -- Leslie Fiedler
  • I was warped early by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. I was very fond of Franz Kafka. -- Margaret Atwood
  • The writers we tend to universally admire, like Beckett, or Kafka, or TS Eliot, are not very prolific. -- John Updike
  • Kafka truly illustrates the way the environment oppresses the individual. He shows how the unconscious controls our lives. -- Manuel Puig
  • I was first introduced to Kafka's writing during my compulsory army-service basic training. During that period, Kafka's fiction felt hyperrealistic. -- Etgar Keret
  • If you have to deal with our friends at ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it's like a Kafka novel. Files just disappear. -- Jeb Bush
  • A friend of mine that I was in a band with started me on Kafka, which in turn led to Camus and Sartre. -- Craig Ferguson
  • But if I were to say who influenced me most, then I'd say Franz Kafka. And his works were always anchored in the Central European region. -- Vaclav Havel
  • In Hollywood, you still have wonderful actors, but it's so hard to work there. To work becomes a Kafka nightmare - it's the last communist country! -- Gerard Depardieu
  • I went through a whole phase when I was younger of being obsessed with Tolstoy and Kafka and Camus, all those really, beautiful, dark depressing books. -- Jessica Pare
  • I think of reading like a balanced diet; if your sentences are too baggy, too baroque, cut back on fatty Foster Wallace, say, and pick up Kafka as roughage. -- Zadie Smith
  • Contrary to what Kafka does, I always like to refer all of my fictions to the level of reality, He, on the other hand, leaves them at an imaginary level. -- Manuel Puig
  • It is not Kafka's fault that his wonderful writings have lately turned into a fad, and are read by people who have neither the ability nor the desire to absorb literature. -- Herman Hesse
  • When I was 21, I wanted to write like Kafka. But, unfortunately for me, I wrote like a script editor for 'The Simpsons' who'd briefly joined a religious cult and then discovered Foucault. Such is life. -- Zadie Smith
  • I've been wrestling with Kafka since I was an adolescent. I think he's a great aphorist, a great letter writer, a great diarist, a great short story writer, and a great novelist - I'd put novelist last. -- John Banville
  • I don't want to turn 50 and say, 'Gosh, I wish I'd lived in that part of the world for a time. I wish I'd read that book by Faulkner.' I want time to delve back into Thoreau and Kafka. -- Charlie Trotter
  • Whoever utters 'Kafkaesque' has neither fathomed nor intuited nor felt the impress of Kafka's devisings. If there is one imperative that ought to accompany any biographical or critical approach, it is that Kafka is not to be mistaken for the Kafkaesque. -- Cynthia Ozick
  • Authors I've longed to write like - but realize I actually can't even begin to - include Poe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Kafka, Daniil Kharms, Witold Gombrowicz, Emily Dickinson, Robert Walser, Barbara Comyns, Ntozake Shange, Camille Laurens, Zbigniew Herbert, and Jose Saramago. -- Helen Oyeyemi
  • Just as Josef K, the protagonist of Kafka's 'The Trial,' awoke one day to discover that he had become part of some unfathomable legal carnival, we, too are frequently waking to discover that the rules of the digital game have once again profoundly changed. -- Evgeny Morozov
  • My views about the safety of Jews in the world have not been changed by the work on the Dreyfus affair or, for that matter, by the work I did on Franz Kafka for the book on him I published a year before the Dreyfus book appeared. -- Louis Begley
  • I would really hate it if I could call up Kafka or Hemingway or Salinger and any question I could throw at them they would have an answer. That's the magic when you read or hear something wonderful - there's no one that has all the answers. -- Regina Spektor
  • If you look at the literature of the 19th century, you get things like Kafka and Dostoevsky, who basically write about feeling bored and alienated. That's because we lost contact with the important things in life like work that you enjoy, or the garden, nature, your family and friends. -- Tom Hodgkinson
  • Your self-esteem is a notch below Kafka. -- Woody Allen
  • I learned my realism from guys like Kafka. -- Robert Coover
  • Kafka didn't save me. He just told me I was drowning. -- Mark Slouka
  • I love stories, I love myths, I love fairytales, I love Kafka. -- Regina Spektor
  • HOBBES: If you don't get a goodnight kiss you get Kafka dreams. -- Bill Watterson
  • If Franz Kafka were alive today he'd be writing about customer service. -- Jonathan Alter
  • The moment Kafka attracts more attenetion than Joseph K., Kafka's posthumous death begins. -- Milan Kundera
  • Perhaps Kafka laughed when he told stories [. . . ] because one isn't always equal to oneself. -- Primo Levi
  • In Guinea I could read [Franz] Kafka. I re-discover in him my own discomfort. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Out of Dostoevsky: Kafka. Out of Tolstoy: Margaret Mitchell. (in conversation, explaining his dislike for Tolstoy) -- Joseph Brodsky
  • A novelist who ranks with Proust , Kafka , Musil and his friend James Joyce as one of the enduring pillars of Modernism. -- Italo Svevo
  • We're all vanishing organisms and disappearing creatures in space and time - that death sentence in space in time that Kafka talked about with such profundity. -- Cornel West
  • Hamlet, Kiekegaard, Kafka are ironists in the wake of Jesus. All Western irony is a repetition of Jesus' enigmas/riddles, in amalgam with the ironies of Socrates. -- Harold Bloom
  • Kafka thought his stories were hilarious. We don't necessarily have that reaction to them, but he certainly laughed his head off every time he read them out loud. -- Margaret Atwood
  • I don't think anybody says to Coetzee or Dostoyevsky or Kafka, "Your characters aren't likeable." It's not about your character winning a popularity contest. That's not the writer's job. -- Lynne Tillman
  • According to Beckett's or Kafka's law, there is immobility beyond movement: beyond standing up, there is sitting down, and beyond sitting down, lying down, beyond which one finally dissipates. -- Gilles Deleuze
  • He who has read Kafka's Metamorphosis and can look into his mirror unflinching may technically be able to read print, but is illiterate in the only sense that matters. -- George Steiner
  • Oh, a bookshop. Why not pop in and buy a little Kant? And perhaps just a quarter-pound of Kafka. Don't bother to wrap it, thanks. I'll eat it here. -- Frederick Busch
  • It's impossible to read a distinctive stylist like Faulkner, Joyce, Kafka, Mann, Woolf, James - and many more - without wanting to write, however entirely different one's writing will be. -- Joyce Carol Oates
  • Kafka's evocations are, rather, unconscious and almost sub-archetypal, the little-kid stuff from which myths derive; this is why we tend to call even his weirdest stories nightmarish rather than surreal. -- David Foster Wallace
  • Angela Carter, Leonora Carrington, even nonsurrealists like Kafka and Nabokov - writers like these, who create paths between the firmly grounded and flights of fantasy, are my personal North Star. -- Jeff Vandermeer
  • To do justice to the figure of Kafka in its purity and its peculiar beauty one must never lose sight of one thing: it is the purity and beauty of a failure. -- Walter Benjamin
  • Most animals are like the unfortunate Gregor Samsa after metamorphosis. They are Kafka-creatures, organisms with rich thoughts and emotions but no system for translating what they think into something that they can express to others. -- Marc Hauser
  • It is said Somerset Maugham traveled the world with a notebook to learn the essence of life and Kafka sat in a room for the same objective. Yet Kafka came out with a better world-view. -- U.R. Ananthamurthy
  • Notable American Women is a weird nougat of a book that suggests Coetzee, Kafka, Beckett, Barthelme, O'Brien, Orwell, Paley, Borges-and none of them exactly. Finally you just have to chew it for its own private juice. -- Padgett Powell
  • What [Franz] Kafka says about the Tower of Babel: In the beginning there were actually many languages, and then as a punishment God gave the world a single language. And then they stopped understanding each other. -- Elie Wiesel
  • Franz Kafka is an idea person. His books begin and end in ideas. Ideas have always been important to me in my writing. To the point that I have to be careful that they don't take over. -- Alan Lightman
  • Since adolescence I've had a passion for Romantic Fantastique literature, which continued with Expressionism and culminated with the genius of Kafka. It's that German thread of the metaphysic - they were looking for the beyond in dreams. -- Dumitru Tepeneag
  • In view of the fact that I surround myself with numbskulls now, I shall die among numbskulls, and on my deathbed shall be surrounded by numbskulls who will not understand what I am saying ... Whom am I sleeping with these days ? Franz Kafka. -- Patricia Highsmith
  • On the wall next to the table, next to the scones that provided each table with its own circle of lamplight were quotations about reading, her favorite of which was from Kafka: 'A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. -- Haven Kimmel
  • No wonder we cannot appreciate the really central Kafka joke: that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from the horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home. -- David Foster Wallace
  • Perhaps most people in the world aren't trying to be free, Kafka. They just think they are. It's all an illusion. If they really were set free, most people would be in a real pickle. You'd better remember that. People actually prefer not being free? -- Haruki Murakami
  • [Kafka] transformed the profoundly antipoetic material of a highly bureaucratized society into the great poetry of the novel; he transformed a very ordinary story of a man who cannot obtain a promised job . . . into myth, into epic, into a kind of beauty never before seen. -- Milan Kundera
  • Alongside Han Kang, there's only one other author I've chosen to translate so far - Bae Suah. Her work is radical both stylistically and politically, influenced by her own translation practice (she's translated the likes of Kafka, Pessoa, and Sadeq Hedayat into Korean). Her language is simply extraordinary. -- Deborah Smith
  • Kafka would surely have been impressed by the twin ambitions of the modern empathetic state: the need to set up hyper-regulatory bodies preventing you from doing anything yourself, while simultaneously endowing lavish pseudo-agencies to hand out leaflets listing a 1-800 number you can dial to order more leaflets. -- Mark Steyn
  • I heard a story the other night about an editor who visited the Iowa Workshop and, when asked what sorts of books she published, replied, "Classic books." One of the students asked her, "You mean like Kafka?" Apparently she said, "Oh, I don't think I would publish Kafka." -- Matthew Specktor
  • If this is what you came for, then I didn't send for you. Kafka (note to himself in journal) -- Franz Kafka
  • The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisable, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speakes he lies. -- Franz Kafka
  • The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisable, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speaks he lies. -- Franz Kafka
  • When I wrote 'Your Republic Is Calling You,' it was Franz Kafka's writing that I had most in mind, and James Joyce's 'Ulysses.' Entirely out of the blue, Kafka's characters receive an order to go somewhere, and when they try to comply, they never quite manage it. Ki-yong in 'Your Republic Is Calling You' is precisely that sort of character. -- Kim Young-ha