He is terribly afraid of dying because he hasn't yet lived.
Even the merest gesture is holy if it is filled with faith.
Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.
Sleep is the most innocent creature there is and a sleepless man
the most guilty.
You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart.
You are at once both the quiet and the confusion of my heart; imagine my heartbeat when you are in this state.
Paths are made by walking.
It is often safer to be in chains than to be free.
If you have food in your jaws you have solved all questions for the time being.
There are some things one can only achieve by a deliberate leap in the opposite direction.
And in that recurring dream, I found myself trapped in some sort of gigantic game of which I was unfamiliar with the rules; lost in a labyrinthine town of dark and damp, criss-crossing streets, ambiguous characters of uncertain authority having no idea of why I was there nor what I had to do, and where the first sign of the beginning of understanding was the wish to die.
Association with human beings lures one into self-observation.
Your will is free means: it was free when it wanted the desert, it is free since it can choose the path that leads to crossing the desert, it is free since it can choose the pace, but it is also unfree since you must go through the desert, unfree since every path in labyrinthine manner touches every foot of the desert's surface.
But eternity is not temporality at a standstill. What is oppressive about the concept of the eternal is the justification, incomprehensible to us, that time must undergo in eternity and the logical conclusion of that, the justification of ourselves as we are.
Even if no salvation should come, I want to be worthy of it at every moment.
Believing in progress does not mean believing that any progress has yet been made.
In Paradise, as always: that which causes the sin and that which recognizes it for what it is are one. The clear conscience is Evil, which is so entirely victorious that it does not any longer consider the leap from left to right necessary.
Take my warning to heart instead, and don't be so unyielding in future, you can't fight against this court, you must confess to guilt. Make your confession at the first chance you get. Until you do that, there is no possibility of getting out of their clutches, none at all.
All right then, I'll be mad at you on this score, which incidentally is no great misfortune, as things balance out quite well if there's a little anger for you lurking in one corner of my heart.
Knowledge we have. Anyone who strives for it with particular intensity is suspect of striving against it.
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.
I asked myself at the time: how is it that she is not astonished at herself, that she keeps her mouth closed, and expresses nothing of any wonderment?
But what if all the tranquility, all the comfort, all the contentment were now to come to a horrifying end?
The ulterior motives with which you absorb and assimilate Evil are not your own but those of Evil.
This noble body, equipped with everything necessary, almost to the point of bursting, also appeared to carry freedom around with it.
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.
Sensual love deceives one as to the nature of heavenly love; it could not do so alone, but since it unconsciously has the element of heavenly love within it, it can do so.
The existence of the writer is an argument against the existence of the soul, for the soul has obviously taken flight from the real ego, but not improved itself, only become a writer.
But perhaps the enthusiastic sensibility of young women of her age also played a role. This feeling sought release at every opportunity, and with it Grete now felt tempted to want to make Gregor's situation even more terrifying, so that then she would be able to do even more for him than now.
If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without ascending it, the work would have been permitted.
His biggest misgiving came from his concern about the loud crash that was bound to occur and would probably create, if not terror, at least anxiety behind all the doors. But that would have to be risked.
Since there was nothing at all I was certain of, since I needed to be provided at every instant with a new confirmation of my existence, since nothing was in my very own, undoubted, sole possession, determined unequivocally only by me -- in sober truth a disinherited son -- naturally I became unsure even of the thing nearest to me, my own body.
No," said the priest, "you don't need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary." "Depressing view," said K. "The lie made into the rule of the world.
To die would mean nothing else than to surrender a nothing to the nothing, but that would be impossible to conceive, for how could a person, even only as a nothing, consciously surrender himself to the nothing, and not merely to an empty nothing but rather to a roaring nothing whose nothingness consists only in its incomprehensibility.
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.
In the struggle between yourself
and the world, second the world.
We are sinful not only because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we are is sinful, irrespective of guilt.
It seems hard to remain a bachelor...to model your appearance and behaviour on one or two bachelors remembered from your youth.
That is how it will be, only that in reality it will be you yourself standing there, today and later, with a body and a real head, and so with a brow too, to strike with your hand.
Picasso only registers the deformities which have not yet penetrated our consciousness. Art is a mirror which goes 'fast' like a watch -- sometimes.
I have the true feeling of myself only when I am unbearably unhappy.
I am a cage, in search of a bird.
No matter how much you keep encouraging someone who is blindfolded to stare through the cloth, he still won't see a thing.
People label themselves with all sorts of adjectives. I can only pronounce myself as 'nauseatingly miserable beyond repair'.
In me, by myself, without human relationship, there are no visible lies. The limited circle is pure.
It puzzled K., at least it puzzled him looking at it from the policemen's point of view, that they had made him go into the room and left him alone there, where he had ten different ways of killing himself. At the same time, though, he asked himself, this time looking at it from his own point of view, what reason he could have to do so. Because those two were sitting there in the next room and had taken his breakfast, perhaps?
They were offered the choice between becoming kings or the couriers of kings. The way children would, they all wanted to be couriers. Therefore there are only couriers who hurry about the world, shouting to each other -- since there are no kings -- messages that have become meaningless. They would like to put an end to this miserable life of theirs but they dare not because of their oaths of service.
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.
You can hold yourself back from the sufferings of the world, 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.
The relief of giving in to destruction.
He who seeks does not find, but he who does not seek will be found.
The more horses you yoke the quicker everything will go -- not the rending of the block from its foundation, which is impossible, but the snapping of the traces and with that the gay and empty journey.
We were expelled from Paradise, but it was not destroyed. The expulsion from Paradise was in one sense a piece of good fortune, for if we had not been expelled, Paradise would have had to be destroyed.
Two tasks at the beginning of your life: to narrow your orbit more and more, and ever and again to check whether you are not in hiding somewhere outside your orbit.
The Fathers of the Church were not afraid to go out into the desert because they had a richness in their hearts. But we, with richness all around us, are afraid, because the desert is in our hearts.
I, however, cannot force myself to use "meat drugs" to cheat on my loneliness.
If I shall exist eternally, how shall I exist tomorrow?
Our winters are very long here, very long and very monotonous. But we don't complain about it downstairs, we're shielded against the winter. Oh, spring does come eventually, and summer, and they last for a while, but now, looking back, spring and summer seem too short, as if they were not much more than a couple of days, and even on those days, no matter how lovely the day, it still snows occasionally.
Everything you say is boring and incomprehensible, but that alone doesn't make it true.
He is a land surveyor, well, perhaps that is something, he has trained at something, but if there's nothing you can do with that training then it means nothing.
German is my mother tongue and as such more natural to me, but I consider Czech much more affectionate, which is why your letter removes several uncertainties; I see you more clearly, the movements of your body, your hands, so quick, so resolute, it's almost like a meeting.
If you were to articulate it, who would be able to resist you? The great chorus of caninity would chime in with you, as if it had just been waiting for this moment.
But all remains unchanged.
I won't give up the diary again. I must hold on here, it is the only place I can.
I have no literary interests; I am made of literature. I am nothing else and cannot be anything else.
A lawyer is a person who writes a 10,000-word document and calls it a "brief."
People who walk across dark bridges, past saints, with dim, small lights. Clouds which move across gray skies past churches with towers darkened in the dusk. One who leans against granite railing gazing into the evening waters, His hands resting on old stones.
Only our concept of time makes it possible for us to speak of the Day of Judgement by that name; in reality it is a constant court in perpetual session.
But Gregor understood easily that it was not only consideration for him which prevented their moving, for he could easily have been transported in a suitable crate with a few air holes; what mainly prevented the family from moving was their complete hopelessness and the thought that they had been struck by a misfortune as none of their relatives and acquaintances had ever been hit.
Anyone who believes cannot experience miracles. By day one does not see any stars. Anyone who does miracles says: I cannot let goof the earth.
Because of impatience we were driven out; because of impatience we cannot return.
However, Gregor had become much calmer. All right, people did not understand his words any more, although they seemed clear enough to him, clearer than previously, perhaps because had gotten used to them.
I am away from home and must always write home, even if any home of mine has long since floated away into eternity.
First impressions are always unreliable.
It would be very unjust to say that you deserted me, but that I was deserted, and sometimes terribly so, is true.
Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more.
Nobody will read what I say here, no one will come to help me; even if all the people were commanded to help me, every door and window would remain shut, everybody would take to bed and draw the bed-clothes over his head, the whole earth would become an inn for the night. And there is sense in that, for nobody knows of me, and if anyone knew he would not know where I could be found, and if he knew where I could be found, he would not know how to deal with me, he would not know how to help me. The thought of helping me is an illness that has to be cured by taking to one's bed.
("The Hunter Gracchus").
Every thing that you love, you will eventually lose, but in the end, love will return in a different form.
What is written is merely the dregs of experience.
Wherever I turn, the black wave rushes down on me.
As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.
I passed by the brothel as though
past the house of a beloved.
It is only because of their stupidity that they are able to be so sure of themselves.
Utterance does not in principle mean a weakening of conviction -- that would not be anything to be deplored -- but a weakness of conviction.
People keep themselves at a tolerable height above an infernal abyss toward which they gravitate only by putting out all their strength and lovingly helping one another. They are tied together by ropes, and it's bad enough when the ropes around an individual loosen and he drops somewhat lower than the others into empty space; ghastly when the ropes break and he falls. That's why we should cling to the others.
I have hardly anything in common with myself and should stand very quietly in a corner, content that I can breathe.
The purpose of a story is to be an axe that breaks up the ice within us.
In a way, I was safe writing.
It isn't necessary that you leave home. Sit at your desk and listen. Don't even listen, just wait. Don't wait, be still and alone. The whole world will offer itself to you.
In the fight between you and the world, back the world.
There they lay, but not in the forgetfulness of the previous night. She was seeking and he was seeking, they raged and contorted their faces and bored their heads into each others bosom in the urgency of seeking something, and their embraces and their tossing limbs did not avail to make them forget, but only reminded them of what they sought.
Please -- consider me a dream.
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need 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 within us. That is my belief.
I am a retiring, silent, unsociable, and discontent person.
It occurs to me that I really can't remember your face in any precise detail. Only the way you walked away through the tables in the café, your figure, your dress, that I still see.
Test yourself on mankind. It is something that makes the doubter doubt, the believer believe.
One of the first signs of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die. This life appears unbearable, another unattainable. One is no longer ashamed of wanting to die; one asks to be moved from the old cell, which one hates, to a new one, which one willl only in time come to hate. In this there is also a residue of belief that during the move the master will chance to come along the corridor, look at the prisoner and say: "This man is not to be locked up again, He is to come with me.
Simply wait, be quiet, still The world will freely offer itself to you.
I dream of a grave, deep and narrow, where we could clasp each other in our arms as with clamps, and I would hide my face in you and you would hide your face in me, and nobody would ever see us any more.
I am on the hunt for constructions. I come into a room and find them whitely merging in a corner.
The mediation by the serpent was necessary. Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man.
When K. looked at the castle, often it seemed to him as if he were observing someone who sat quietly there in front of him gazing, not lost in thought and so oblivious of everything, but free and untroubled, as if he were alone with nobody to observe him, and yet must notice that he was observed, and all the same remained with his calm not even slightly disturbed; and really -- one did not know whether it was cause or effect -- the gaze of the observer could not remain concentrated there, but slid away.
I am constantly trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones. Basically it is nothing other than this fear we have so often talked about, but fear spread to everything, fear of the greatest as of the smallest, fear, paralyzing fear of pronouncing a word, although this fear may not only be fear but also a longing for something greater than all that is fearful.
We are separated from God on two sides; the Fall separates us from Him, the Tree of Life separates Him from us.
I am free and that is why I am lost.
One must not prostrate oneself before the minor impossibilities, otherwise the major impossibilities would never come into view.
Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live. Where was the judge he had never seen? Where was the High Court he had never reached? He raised his hands and spread out all his fingers. But the hands of one of the men closed round his throat, just as the other drove the knife deep into his heart and turned it twice.
By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.
What am I doing in this eternal winter?
To animalise is humane, to humanise is animal.
A First Sign of the Beginning of Understanding is the Wish to Die.
Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away; but this opinion was all that he was permitted.
The chains that cuff humanity are made of office paper.
Towards the avoidance of a piece of verbal confusion: What is intended to be actively destroyed must first of all have been firmly grasped; what crumbles away crumbles away, but cannot be destroyed.
Amalia smiled, and that smile, although a sad one, lit up her sombre face, made her silence eloquent and her strangeness familiar. It was like the telling of a secret, a hitherto closely guarded possession that could be taken back, but never taken back entirely.
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one's ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
It is only our conception of time that makes us call the Last Judgement by this name. It is, in fact, a kind of martial law.
One day, a leopard stalked into the synagogue, roaring and lashing its tail. Three weeks later, it had become part of the liturgy.
How pathetically scanty my self-knowledge is compared with, say, my knowledge of my room. There is no such thing as observation of the inner world, as there is of the outer world.
I only fear danger where I want to fear it.
Silence, I believe, avoids me, as water on the beach avoids stranded fish.
I need solitude for my writing; not 'like a hermit' -- that wouldn't be enough -- but like a dead man.
I am a typical example of Western Jew. This means I don't have a moment of peace, that nothing has come easily to me, not just the present and the future, but even the past, that thing that each man receives as his birth-right: even that I have to conquer, and perhaps that is the hardest task.
Scratch your flesh raw between your toes, but you won't find the answer.
All that you are seeking is also seeking you.
Isolation is a way to know ourselves.
Writing sustains me. But wouldn't it be better to say it sustains this kind of life? Which doesn't mean life is any better when I don't write. On the contrary, it is far worse, wholly unbearable, and inevitably ends in madness. This is, of course, only on the assumption that I am a writer even when I don't write -- which is indeed the case; and a non-writing writer is, in fact, a monster courting insanity.
You are so vulnerably haunting. Your eeriness is terrifyingly irresistible.
When one has once accepted and absorbed Evil, it no longer demands the unfitness of the means. The ulterior motives with which youabsorb and assimilate Evil are not your own but those of Evil.... Evil is whatever distracts. Evil knows of the Good, but Good does not know of Evil. Knowledge of oneself is something only Evil has. One means that Evil has is the dialogue.... One cannot pay Evil in installments -- and one always keeps on trying to.
The Bible is a sanctum; the world, sputum.
Kill me, or you are a murderer.
Evil is the starry sky of the Good.
There are only two things. Truth and lies. Truth is indivisible, hence it cannot recognize itself; anyone who wants to recognize it has to be a lie.
'It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.' 'A melancholy conclusion,' said K. 'It turns lying into a universal principle.'
There is nothing bad to fear; once you have crossed that threshold, all is well. Another world, and you do not have to speak.
From a real antagonist one gains boundless courage.
It requires enormous presence of mind or rather quickness of wit, when opening your eyes to seize hold as it were of everything in the room at exactly the same place where you had let it go on the previous evening. That is why the moment of waking up was the riskiest moment of the day. Once that was well over without deflecting you from your orbit, you could take heart of grace for the rest of the day.
Alas," said the mouse, "the whole world is growing smaller every day. At the beginning it was so big that I was afraid, I kept running and running, and I was glad when I saw walls far away to the right and left, but these long walls have narrowed so quickly that I am in the last chamber already, and there in the corner stands the trap that I must run into." "You only need to change your direction," said the cat, and ate it up.
I look a girl in the eye and it was a very long love story with thunder and kisses and lightning. I live fast.
There is a destination but no way there; what we refer to as way is hesitation.
My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted.
The dream reveals the reality which conception lags behind. That is the horror of life -- the terror of art.
The door could not be heard slamming; they had probably left it open, as is the custom in homes where a great misfortune has occurred.
There's no quiet place here on earth for our love, not in the village and not anywhere else, so I picture a grave, deep and narrow, in which we embrace as if clamped together, I bury my face against you, you yours against me, and no one will ever see us.
It would have been so pointless to kill himself that, even if he had wanted to, the pointlessness would have made him unable.
One advantage in keeping a diary is that you become aware with reassuring clarity of the changes which you constantly suffer.
I stand on the end platform of the tram and am completely unsure of my footing in this world, in this town, in my family. Not even casually could I indicate any claims that I might rightly advance in any direction. I have not even any defense to offer for standing on this platform, holding on to this strap, letting myself be carried along by this tram, nor for the people who give way to the tram or walk quietly along or stand gazing into shop windows. Nobody asks me to put up a defense, indeed, but that is irrelevant.
In argument similes are like songs in love; they describe much, but prove nothing.
'I see,' said Karl, staring at the quickly emptying basket and listening to the curious noise which Robinson made in drinking, for the beer seemed first to plunge right down into his throat and gurgle up again with a sort of whistle before finally pouring its flood into the deep.
I lack nothing. I only needed myself.
Other opportunities arise from time to time that almost don't accord with the overall situation, opportunities whereby a word, a glance, a sigh of trust may achieve more than a lifetime of exhausting endeavour.
I made the remark that I don't avoid people in order to live quietly, but rather in order to be able to die quietly.
If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read? So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we should also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves; like suicide. A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.
The crows maintain that a single crow could destroy the heavens. There is no doubt of that, but it proves nothing against the heavens, for heaven simply means: the impossibility of crows.
For we are like tree trunks in the snow. In appearance they lie smoothly and a little push should be enough to set them rolling. No, it can't be done, for they are firmly wedded to the ground. But see, even that is only appearance.
My 'fear' is my substance, and probably the best part of me.
Last night I dreamed about you. What happened in detail I can hardly remember, all I know is that we kept merging into one another. I was you, you were me. Finally you somehow caught fire.
He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.
No, freedom was not what I wanted. Only a way out; right or left, or in any direction; I made no other demand; even should the way out prove to be an illusion; the demand was a small one, the disappointment could be no bigger. To get out somewhere, to get out! Only not to stay motionless with raised arms, crushed against a wooden wall.
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.
I wanted to escape the unrest, to shut out the voices around me and within me, so I write.
Follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
The tremendous world I have inside my head. But how free myself and free it without being torn to pieces. And a thousand times rather be torn to pieces than retain it in me or bury it. That, indeed, is why I am here, that is quite clear to me.
If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.
In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness: To believe in the indestructible element within one, and not to strive towards it.
To every instant there is a correspondence in something outside time. This world here and now cannot be followed by a Beyond, for the Beyond is eternal, hence it cannot be in temporal contact with this world here and now.
All I am is literature, and I am not able or willing to be anything else.
Hesitation before birth. If there is a transmigration of souls then I am not yet on the bottom rung. My life is a hesitation before birth.
Most men are not wicked. They are sleepwalkers, not evil evildoers.
All language is but a poor translation.
In a certain sense the Good is comfortless.
Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.
Agreement is the best weapon of defense―and the matter would be buried.
The meaning of life is that it stops.
I am too tired, I must try to rest and sleep, otherwise I am lost in every respect. What an effort to keep alive! Erecting a monument does not require an expenditure of so much strength.
It's sometimes quite astonishing that a single, average life is enough to encompass so much that it's at all possible ever to have any success in one's work here.
I always succeed in not being jealous but only sometimes in comprehending the pointlessness of jealousy.
It is strange how little sharpsightedness women possess; they only notice whether they please, then whether they arouse pity, and finally, whether you look for compassion from them. That is all; come to think of it, it may even be enough, generally speaking.
Time is short, my strength is limited, the office is a horror, the apartment is noisy, and if a pleasant, straightforward life is not possible, then one must try to wriggle through by subtle manoeuvres.
My peers, lately, have found companionship through means of intoxication -- it makes them sociable. I, however, cannot force myself to use drugs to cheat on my loneliness -- it is all that I have -- and when the drugs and alcohol dissipate, will be all that my peers have as well.
And so gentlemen, I learned. Oh, if you have to learn, you learn; if you're desperate for a way out, you learn; you learn pitilessly. You stand over yourself with a whip in your hand; if there's the least resistance, you lash yourself.
Hiding places there are innumerable, escape is only one, but possibilities of escape, again, are as many as hiding places.
A stair not worn hollow by footsteps is, regarded from its own point of view, only a boring something made of wood.
This perversion of the truth, familiar to the artist though it was, always unnerved him afresh and proved too much for him. What was a consequence of the premature ending of his fast was here presented as the cause of it! To fight against this lack of understanding, against a whole world of nonunderstanding, was impossible.
The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune, that makes us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide, lost in a forest remote from all human habitation.
I do not read advertisements. I would spend all of my time wanting things.
I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.
What a fate: to be condemned to work for a firm where the slightest negligence at once gave rise to the gravest suspicion! Were all the employees nothing but a bunch of scoundrels, was there not among them one single loyal devoted man who, had he wasted only an hour or so of the firm's time in the morning, was so tormented by conscience as to be driven out of his mind and actually incapable of leaving his bed?
So perhaps the best resource is to meet everything passively, to make yourself an inert mass, to stare at others with the eyes of an animal, to feel no compunction, with your own hand to throttle down whatever ghostly life remains in you.
There is nothing besides a spiritual world; what we call the world of the senses is the Evil in the spiritual world, and what we call Evil is only the necessity of a moment in our eternal evolution.
Youth is happy because it has the ability to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.
It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.
I do not see the world at all; I invent it.
Yet even if I manage that, one single slip, and a slip cannot be avoided, will stop the whole process, easy and painful alike, and I will have to shrink back into my own circle again.
Some deny the existence of misery by pointing to the sun; he denies the existence of the sun by pointing to misery.
Expulsion from Paradise is in its main aspect eternal: that is to say, although expulsion from Paradise is final, and life in theworld unavoidable, the eternity of the process (or, expressed in temporal terms, the eternal repetition of the process) nevertheless makes it possible not only that we might remain in Paradise permanently, but that we may in fact be there permanently, no matter whether we know it here or not.
A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.
This morning, for the first time in a long time, the joy again of imagining a knife twisted in my heart.
When one is alone, imperfection must be endured every minute of the day.
Every word first looks around in every direction before letting itself be written down by me.
I carry the bars within me.
I have spent all my life resisting the desire to end it.
But sleep? On a night like this? What an idea! Just think of how many thoughts a blanket smothers while one lies alone in bed, and how many unhappy dreams it keeps warm.
Self-control is something for which I do not strive. Self-control means wanting to be effective at some random point in the infinite radiations of my spiritual existence.
Religions get lost as people do.
For everything outside the phenomenal world, language can only be used allusively, but never even approximately in a comparative way, since, corresponding as it does to the phenomenal world, it is concerned only with property and its relations.
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.
Dread of night. Dread of not-night.
A book should serve as an axe to the ice inside us.
Concerning this a man once said:Why such reluctance? If you only followed the parables
you yourselves would become parables and with that rid of all your daily cares. Another said: I bet that is also a parable. The first said: You have won. The second said: But unfortunately only in parable. The first said: No, in reality; in parable you have lost.
How unreasonable I'm being!
As Karl Rossmann, a poor boy of sixteen who had been packed off to America by his parents because a servant girl had seduced him and got herself with child by him, stood on the liner slowly entering the harbour of New York, a sudden burst of sunshine seemed to illumine the Statue of Liberty, so that he saw it in a new light, although he had sighted it long before. The arm with the sword rose up as if newly stretched aloft, and round the figure blew the free winds of heaven.
You are free and that is why you are lost.
I can love only what I can place so high above me that I cannot reach it.
Slept, awoke, slept, awoke, miserable life.
Faith, like a guillotine. As heavy, as light.
Let me remind you of the old maxim: people under suspicion are better moving than at rest, since at rest they may be sitting in the balance without knowing it, being weighed together with their sins.
Nothing is as deceptive as a photograph.
A man of action forced into a state of thought is unhappy until he can get out of it.
Dear Nephew, as you will already have realized during our much too brief companionship, I am essentially a man of principle. That is unpleasant and depressing not only to those who come in contact with me, but also to myself as well. Yet it is my principles that have made me what I am, and no one can ask me to deny my fundamental self. Not even you, my dear nephew.
There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.
I can prove at any time that my education tried to make another person out of me than the one I became. It is for the harm, therefore, that my educators could have done me in accordance with their intentions that I reproach them; I demand from their hands the person I now am, and since they cannot give him to me, I make of my reproach and laughter a drumbeat sounding in the world beyond.
God gives the nuts, but he does not crack them.
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.
Don't despair, not even over the fact that you don't despair.
Was he an animal, that music could move him so? He felt as if the way to the unknown nourishment he longed for were coming to light.
It's impossible to defend oneself in the absence of goodwill.
He has the feeling that merely by being alive he is blocking his own way. From this sense of hindrance, in turn, he deduces the proof that he is alive.
The history of the world, as it is written and handed down by word of mouth, often fails us completely; but man's intuitive capacity, though it often misleads, does lead, does not ever abandon one.
The true way goes over a line that, rather than spanning heights, is hardly above the ground. It appears more decidedly to make one trip than to be walked along.
Human judgment of human actions is true and void, that is to say, first true and then void... The judgment of the word is true, the judgment in itself is void... Only he who is a party can really judge, but as a party he cannot judge. Hence it follows that there is no possibility of judgment in the world, only a glimmer of it.
From the true antagonist illimitable courage is transmitted to you.
To what indifference people may come, to what profound conviction of having lost the right track forever.
I am fond of lovers but I cannot love, I am too far away, am banished,.
Tyranny or slavery, born of selfishness, are the two educational methods of parents; all gradations of tyranny or slavery.
Everything is deception: seeking the minimum of illusion, keeping within the ordinary limitations, seeking the maximum. In the first case one cheats the Good, by trying to make it too easy for oneself to get it, and the Evil by imposing all too unfavorable conditions of warfare on it. In the second case one cheats the Good by keeping as aloof from it as possible, and the Evil by hoping to make it powerless through intensifying it to the utmost.
One has just been sent out as a biblical dove, has found nothing green, and slips back into the darkness of the Ark.
At the same time all the houses round about promptly took part in this silence, and so did the darkness above them, reaching as far as the stars. And the footsteps of invisible passers-by, whose course I had no wish to guess at, the wind that kept on driving against the other side of the street, the gramophone singing behind closed windows in some room -- they made themselves heard in this silence, as if they had owned it for ever and ever.