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Kafka Quotes


"I did my dissertation on Kafka." - Jessie Ware

"I learned my realism from guys like Kafka." - Robert Coover

"Your self-esteem is a notch below Kafka." - Woody Allen

"Kafka: cries of helplessness in twenty powerful volumes." - Mason Cooley

"Kafka didn't save me. He just told me I was drowning." - Mark Slouka

"If Franz Kafka were alive today he'd be writing about customer service." - Jonathan Alter

"Out of Dostoevsky: Kafka. Out of Tolstoy: Margaret Mitchell. (in conversation, explaining his dislike for Tolstoy)" - Joseph Brodsky

"Perhaps Kafka laughed when he told stories [. . . ] because one isn't always equal to oneself." - Primo Levi

"The moment Kafka attracts more attenetion than Joseph K., Kafka's posthumous death begins." - Milan Kundera

"In Guinea I could read [Franz] Kafka. I re-discover in him my own discomfort." - Jean-Paul Sartre

"A lot of the stuff Kafka said he thought was hilariously funny." - Margaret Atwood

"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

"Kafka is still unrecognized. He thought he was a comic writer." - Leslie Fiedler

"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

"What Franz Kafka was to the first half of the 20th century, Philip K. Dick is to the second half." - Art Spiegelman

"If this is what you came for, then I didn't send for you. Kafka (note to himself in journal)" - Franz Kafka

"The writers we tend to universally admire, like Beckett, or Kafka, or TS Eliot, are not very prolific." - John Updike

"I was warped early by Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allan Poe. I was very fond of Franz Kafka." - Margaret Atwood

"Kafka truly illustrates the way the environment oppresses the individual. He shows how the unconscious controls our lives." - Manuel Puig

"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

"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

"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

"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

"A novelist who ranks with Proust , Kafka , Musil and his friend James Joyce as one of the enduring pillars of Modernism." - Italo Svevo

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"Kafka wrote the great line: "my education has damaged me in ways I do not even know." And that's always been a signature motto for me." - Lynne Tillman

"Ultimately - or at the limit - in order to see a photograph well, it is best to look away or close your eyes. 'The necessary condition for an image is sight,'Janouch told Kafka; and Kafka smiled and replied: 'We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes." - Roland Barthes

"This brings me back to the image of Kafka standing before a fish in the Berlin aquarium, a fish on which his gaze fell in a newly found peace after he decided not to eat animals. Kafka recognized that fish as a member of his invisible family- not as his equal, of course, but as another being that was his concern." - Jonathan Safran Foer

"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

"Kafka is one of my very favorite writers. Kafka's fictional world is already so complete that trying to follow in his steps is not just pointless, but quite risky, too. What I see myself doing, rather, is writing novels where, in my own way, I dismantle the fictional world of Kafka that itself dismantled the existing novelistic system." - Haruki Murakami

"Franz Kafka is a huge influence, more than the Grimms. To allow yourself to get into the coal bucket and fly to the sky ... we learned that from Kafka, that you can have a thought and make a body of it in this way." - Lore Segal

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"Wakefield prefigures Franz Kafka, but the latter modifies, and sharpens, the reading of Wakefield. The debt is mutual; a great writer creates his or her precursors. He or she creates them and in some fashion justifies them." - Jorge Luis Borges

"I still couldn't accept that this was not some nightmare, like some freak misbinding in a book, a Lawrence novel become, at the turn of a page, one by Kafka." - John Fowles

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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 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

"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

"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

"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

"When I went to Czechoslovakia under the old Communist regime one day in the '80s, I thought to myself whatever I do, whatever happens to me in Prague I'm not going to use the name Kafka, I'm just not going to do it. I won't do it; it's so easy, everyone else does, I'm not going to. I'll write the first non-Kafka mentioning piece." - Christopher Hitchens

"Franz Kafka is dead. He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me."" - Nicole Krauss

"I guess I will say, going back to the Judaism questions, there are mental reflexes or patterns that I think of as Jewish in my own feelings about mysticism and theology.Franz Kafka is someone I very much revere. If I believed in holy texts I'd go to him as a touchstone. Not that I read Kafka all the time at this point. In a way, this is what I most want to talk about and it's the hardest to talk about." - Jonathan Raymond

"By the time Kafka was seven or eight years old, he already had a relatively dark view of the world derived from experiences in his own family. This told him that the world was organized in a strictly hierarchical manner and that those on the top were allowed to mete out punishment in any way they chose. They were entitled to leave those on the bottom uninformed about the rules to which they subscribed; they weren't even required to follow their own rules - this is how Kafka described it in his later Letter to My Father." - Reiner Stach

"Obviously I've been reading Kafka for a long long time, since I was really young, and even before I ever read him I knew who he was. I had this weird sense that he was some kind of family. Like Uncle Kafka. Now I really think of him that way, the way we think about an uncle who opened up some path for being in a family that otherwise wouldn't have existed. I think of him that way as a writer and a familial figure." - Nicole Krauss

"The sad fact is that I love Dickens and Donne and Keats and Eliot and Forster and Conrad and Fitzgerald and Kafka and Wilde and Orwell and Waugh and Marvell and Greene and Sterne and Shakespeare and Webster and Swift and Yeats and Joyce and Hardy, really, really love them. It's just that they don't love me back." - David Nicholls

"Dear God, I don't want to have invented my faith to satisfy my weakness. I don't want to have created God to my own image as they're so fond of saying. Please give me the necessary grace, oh Lord, and please don't let it be as hard to get as Kafka made it." - Flannery O'Connor

"I do hang out with girls, I do relax. But I am a hermit sometimes and get a bit too introverted, too 'Jean-Paul Sartre' and intellectual in my head. And it's like a Kafka novel in there, things get nuts. Then I have to remind myself to get out and I will go and play ice hockey with my friends." - Josh Peck

"I'm humbled and enormously grateful to be connected to [Franz] Kafka in a any way. He is one of the writers I admire. I think he has been a big influence on me. I appreciate the idea of the individual person battling the society - which is true in all his books." - Alan Lightman

"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

"Perhaps most people in the world are' 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

"The sad fact is that I love Dickens and Donne and Keats and Eliot and Forster and Conrad and Fitzgerald and Kafka and Wilde and Orwell and Waugh and Marvell and Greene and Sterne and Shakespeare and Webster and Swift and Yeats and Joyce and Hardy, really, really love them. It's just that they do' love me back." - David Nicholls

"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

"The Society of North American Magic Realists welcomes its newest, most dazzling member, Louis Maistros. His debut novel is a thing of wonder, unlike anything in our literature. It startles. It stuns. It stupefies. No novel since CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES has done such justice to New Orleans. If Franz Kafka had been able to write like Peter Straub, this might have been the result." - Donald Harington

"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

"I think Kafka was right when he said that for a modern, secular, nonreligious man, state bureaucracy is the only remaining contact with the dimension of the divine; the impenetrable omnipotence of bureaucracy harbors is divine enjoyment. It is the performance of its very purposelessness that generates an intense enjoyment, ready to reproduce itself forever." - Slavoj Zizek

"When I was quite young I came across a collection of [Franz] Kafka stories and read "The Judgment." I was just floored by that story. I couldn't understand it. I still don't. I'm talking about something I read more than 50 years ago. That story left a little scar on me." - Stephen Greenblatt

"I really wouldn't call a lot of what's online "literature" since that word, to me, refers to a sub-genre of writing that belongs to the heavy-hitters, the canonical writers, Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, Dostoevsky, Kafka, and even Toni Morrison, George Saunders, Thomas Bernhard, Sebald, Borges, DFW, e.g." - Lee Klein

"Kafka had the sense of guilt. I don't think I have because I don't believe in free will. Because what I have done has been done, well, for me or through me. But I haven't done it really. But I don't believe in free will, I can't feel guilty." - Jorge Luis Borges

"His work is full of the signs of those two cardinal sins from which (as Kafka pointed out) all the others spring: impatience and laziness. The work of every artist is conditioned by the way in which he resists or yields to these temptations." - Patrick Swift

"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

"There is at this moment a beetle the size of god's ass on the table about six inches from the t-writer. It is worse than anything Kafka ever dreamed, so big I can see its eyes and the hair on its legs - jesus, suddenly it leaped off and now circles me with a menacing whir." - Hunter S Thompson

"In the critic's vocabulary, the word "precursor" is indispensable, but it should be cleansed of all connotations of polemic or rivalry. The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future." - Essay: "Kafka and his Precursors" - Jorge Luis Borges

"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

"Kafka could never have written as he did had he lived in a house. His writing is that of someone whose whole life was spent in apartments, with lifts, stairwells, muffled voices behind closed doors, and sounds through walls. Put him in a nice detached villa and he'd never have written a word." - Alan Bennett

"[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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"First book was handwritten, then the printing press, now we've got our Kindles. To be able to push a button and a dictionary comes up. And then, at my age, that I can make the letters any size I want, and that I can carry all of William Shakespeare, all of Gogol, all of Franz Kafka in my handbag? You've got to love it." - Lore Segal

"when ... I've thought of madness, it seems most easily explained to me as poetry in action. A life of symbol rather than reality. On paper one can understand Gulliver, or Kafka, or Dante. But let a man go about behaving as if he were a giant or a midget, or caught in a cosmic plot directed at himself, or in heaven or hell, and we feel horror - we want to disavow him to proclaim him as far removed as possible from ourselves." - Helen Eustis

"Directors who have inspired me include Billy Wilder, Federico Fellini, lngmar Bergman, John Ford, Orson Welles, Werner Herzog, Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, Francis Ford Coppola and Ernst Lubitsch. In art school, I studied painters like Edward Hopper, who used urban motifs, Franz Kafka is my favorite novelist. My approach to film stems from my art background, as I go beyond the story to the sub-conscious mood created by sound and images." - David Lynch

"Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation resembles no book I've read before. If I tell you that it's funny, and moving, and true; that it's as compact and mysterious as a neutron; that it tells a profound story of love and parenthood while invoking (among others) Keats, Kafka, Einstein, Russian cosmonauts, and advice for the housewife of 1896, will you please simply believe me, and read it?" - Michael Cunningham

"The second volume of Reiner Stach's epic biography of Franz Kafka . . . [is] a tangle of counter-grained and often under-sourced life stories, but reading Stach's magnificent narrative (wonderfully translated by Shelley Frisch) straight through brings death, not life, to the forefront. Stach is a compulsively readable writer. . . . [A]s in the previous volume, the prose in The Years of Insight is supple and very appealingly complex-all of which, once again, is perfectly rendered by Frisch." - Steve Donoghue

"You're part of the human fabric of experience. You don't have to have cancer to write about cancer. You don't have to have somebody close to you die to understand what death is. Definitely, the more you live, the more experiences fall into your spectrum. As a writer, you must have been told: Write about what you know. But Kafka didn't. Gogol didn't. Did Shakespeare write only what he knew? Our own selves are limitless. And our capacity for empathy is giant." - Regina Spektor

"In Kafka we have the modern mind, seemingly self-sufficient, intelligent, skeptical, ironical, splendidly trained for the great game of pretending that the world it comprehends in sterilized sobriety is the only and ultimate real one - yet a mind living in sin with the soul of Abraham. Thus he knows Two things at once, and both with equal assurance: that there is no God, and that there must be God." - Erich Heller

"I yearn for the darkness. I pray for death. Real death. If I thought that in death I would meet the people I've known in life I don't know what I'd do. That would be the ultimate horror. The ultimate despair. If I had to meet my mother again and start all of that all over, only this time without the prospect of death to look forward to? Well. That would be the final nightmare. Kafka on wheels." - Cormac Mccarthy

"I usually have Kafka biography in my bathroom. It's a book I can open at random and feel interested in immediately. It's really funny. With this book, since I'm opening it at random and immediately interested, I don't feel the need to read more than I want to read, in that there's not, like, a plot that leads me along. So I can stop whenever." - Tao Lin

"Do you realize that people don't know how to read Kafka simply because they want to decipher him? Instead of letting themselves be carried away by his unequaled imagination, they look for allegories - and come up with nothing but cliches: life is absurd (or it is not absurd), God is beyond reach (or within reach), etc. You can understand nothing about art, particularly modern art, if you do not understand that imagination is a value in itself." - Milan Kundera

"...testifying for Dr. Privitera...To these 19 cancer victims, the enforcement of (California) Health and Safety Code Sect. 1701.1, the denial of them medical treatment, albeit unorthodox, albeit unapproved by a state agency, must surely take on a Kafka-esque, a nightmare quality. No demonstrated public anger, no compelling interest of the state warrants an Orwellian intrusion into the most private of zones of privacy." - Rose Bird

"In that chocolate side of town, in my blessed city of Sacramento, California - that was beginning of my death shudders, that's why Kierkegaard and Kafka began to make sense to me when I was very, very young - that radical sense fragility of life and inevitability of death; those trucks coming, if the truck came at a same time I was on the bridge, I was in the creek -my body would be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms." - Cornel West

"Kafka often describes himself as a bloodless figure: a human being who doesn't really participate in the life of his fellow human beings, someone who doesn't actually live in the true sense of the word, but who consists rather of words and literature. In my view, that is, however, only half true. In a roundabout way through literature, which presupposes empathy and exact observation, he immerses himself again in the life of society; in a certain sense he comes back to it." - Reiner Stach

"Franz Kafka once said that happiness consists in having an ideal and not progressing towards it. If you did progress towards it, you'd be unhappy because you'd never be able to reach it. You can incrementally improve your life, but you never quite experience the glamour. You never quite get to your utopia, or whatever it is. And once you realize that you can be quite Buddhist about it, and say, "Well, okay, I'm just going to keep detached from it all."" - Momus

"I knew Richard E. Grant, and I went to him and said "Would you like to [play Kafka in the film]?" and he said yeah, and then suddenly I had all these people who were happy to come along. We got a little bit of money from Scottish Screen to pay for it. I got so many favors because I knew people in the business. I was in a remarkably good position. I got so many favors from people. I got the Monty Python technical people." - Peter Capaldi

"One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, "As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . ." When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, "As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . ." When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, "As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . ." When I read the line I thought to myself that I did' know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"We possess the Canon because we are mortal and also rather belated. There is only so much time, and time must have a stop, while there is more to read than there ever was before. From the Yahwist and Homer to Freud, Kafka, and Beckett is a journey of nearly three millennia. Since that voyage goes past harbors as infinite as Dante, Chaucer, Montaigne, Shakespeare, and Tolstoy, all of whom amply compensate a lifetime's rereadings, we are in the pragmatic dilemma of excluding something else each time we read or reread extensively." - Harold Bloom

"All one wants to do is make a small, finished, polished, burnished, beautiful object . . . I mean, that's all one wants to do. One has nothing to say about the world, or society, or morals or politics or anything else. One just wants to get the damn thing done, you know? Kafka had it right when he said that the artist is the man who has nothing to say. It's true. You get the thing done, but you don't actually have anything to communicate, apart from the object itself." - John Banville

"Oshima's silent for a time as he gazes at the forest, eyes narrowed. Birds are flitting from one branch to the next. His hands are clasped behind his head. "I know how you feel," he finally says. "But this is something you have to work out on your own. Nobody can help you. That's what love's all about, Kafka. You're the one having those wonderful feelings, but you have to go it alone as you wander through the dark. Your mind and body have to bear it all. All by yourself." - Haruki Murakami

"Kafka was certainly one of the great literary talents of the twentieth century, but he did not find his way to his own style until the age of nearly 30, so rather late. The disciplined immersion in unconscious psychical material is something he also learned only after long years of practice. When he succeeded in doing it for the first time - in the story The Judgement - it put him in a euphoric mood. He wanted to experience this again and again; the act of creation made him happy and proud." - Reiner Stach

"Kafka was a complex character in a complex historical era. In order to understand him, you have to do more than cite facts. It is necessary to connect the facts in a meaningful way. His relationship to Judaism, to his father, to women, to literature - all of this is interconnected; and there are decisive moments in his life, in which such interactions suddenly become visible and can be experienced in an almost sensuous manner. It is these moments above all that I try to narrate dramatically." - Reiner Stach

"I literally feel like books saved my life. I found these people. Me reading Camus and Kafka, all of the tortured teenager stuff of someone who's falling in love with books. These people, these writers had the questions. They may not have had the answers, but they're not afraid to look at the questions head on. It was just life-changing for me. Yeah, books, honestly, I can't even tell you. I feel saved by books; I feel like they let me be who I was and find the world I wanted to be in." - Nathan Englander