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10 Best Quotes Of Franz Kafka

10 Best Quotes Of Franz Kafka

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I’m not sure if I understand what all the quotes by Franz Kafka mean, but here are 10 of his best ones about life, heartbreak, commitment issues and dreams.

Franz Kafka is cynical, mysterious, slightly heartbroken and probably my ultimate crush of all time. He was a 20th century German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist who was mainly known for writing about bizarre, sincere and abhorrent truths within society.

Franz Kafka’s hostile perception of the world might make him come across as bitter to the naked eye. But the novelist actually grew up with a verbally and physically abusive father so his disdain towards the world isn’t exactly revolutionary.

Kafka’s Father despised his son’s chosen profession and wished he would do something more ‘manly’ which led to Franz Kafka struggling with his Jewish identity and developing commitment issues in his adult life.

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To make things worse, his father used to call him and his friends’ ‘vermin’ and used to taunt Kafka for not having a ‘manly job.’ He wanted a son that would go out and do hard labour, but his son was a writer, a dream that created so much resentment.

I’m not sure if I understand what all of Franz Kafka’s quotes mean, but here are 10 of Kafka’s best quotes about life, heartbreak, commitment issues and following your dreams.

1. There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe … but not for us

Again, I’m not exactly sure what it means, but my university professor explained it to us once and this is what I think.

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It’s the idea that you always think things are going to be better for the next generation and the ones to come but not for you.

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2. Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable

What is acceptable is often based on dubious morals enforced by a broken system but doing what is right will always triumph and prevail in the end.

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

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.

4. 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

An interesting fact about Franz Kafka was that he used to be a health and safety officer. His job involved going to desolate and neglected places and write about what he could see and would often bring that into his writing.

For example, in The Trial, he talks about rats running away from human waste in order to convey how much humans have fallen because what we consider to be the height of vermin are now running away from us.

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5. I no longer know if I wish to drown myself in love, vodka or the sea

I chose this one because it’s relatable.

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

I like to think that there are only two ways of interpreting this quote, it’s either really dark or really relatable.

7. I’m doing badly, I’m doing well; whichever you prefer

I think he’s calling out everyone’s bs by subtly implying that all opinions are subjective.

8. A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.

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9. It’s only because of their stupidity that they’re able to be so sure of themselves

I included this quote because it makes me feel better when I come across know-it-alls.

10. He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn’t yet lived

This quote refers to the idea that people are scared of dying with regrets as opposed to death itself.

I studied Franz Kafka at uni and could definitely go on and on, but I’ll stop for now. Even though I don’t fully understand his thought process I find Kafka so intriguing and would love to be able to understand the cryptic messages in his quotes and books eventually.  Comment your favourite quote below!

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