Words to Write By: Franz Kafka

“I think we ought to only read the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it 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 kinds of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But 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. That is my belief.”

– Franza Kafka, 1904

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2 responses to “Words to Write By: Franz Kafka

  1. Ysabel de la Rosa

    Love it! This was one of my favorite Kafka quotes, and I wrote it down in my college journals. It’s great to see it appearing on your blog… these many years later.

  2. great, great share, Saeed. Thank you.

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