Literary Birthday – 3 July – Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was born 3 July 1883, and died 3 June 1924.


  1. A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.
  2. I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.
  3. All language is but a poor translation.
  4. We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.
  5. I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us.
  6. Books are a narcotic.
  7. I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.
  8. Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
  9. The person I am in the company of my sisters has been entirely different from the person I am in the company of other people. Fearless, powerful, surprising, moved as I otherwise am only when I write.
  10. Writing is prayer.

Franz Kafka was a German writer of novels and short stories. He was one of the major fiction writers of the 20th century. Virtually unknown during his lifetime, the works of Kafka have since been recognised as symbolising modern man’s anxiety-ridden and grotesque alienation in an unintelligible, hostile, or indifferent world. The MetamorphosisThe Trial, and The Castle are filled with the themes of alienation, physical and psychological brutality, parent–child conflict, characters on a terrifying quest, and mystical transformations. The term Kafkaesque means: ‘Characteristic or reminiscent of the oppressive or nightmarish qualities of Franz Kafka’s fictional world.’

Source for Image: Anonymous, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons,_1923.jpg

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd July 2013

0 thoughts on “Literary Birthday – 3 July – Franz Kafka”

  1. Heath Filmore

    In honor of Kafka’s birthday I suggest that everyone read the book META-BLEEDIN’-MORPHOSIS, which is Kafka’s legendary tale as told by a guy who may or may not have been Michael Caine. Hilarious!