“As someone said to me — I can’t remember now who it was — it is really remarkable that when you wake up in the morning you nearly always find everything in exactly the same place as the evening before. For when asleep and dreaming you are, apparently at least, in an essentially different state from wakefulness; and therefore, as that man truly said, 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 was why, he said, 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.”—Franz Kafka
“What will we do in these spring days that are now hurrying toward us? This morning the sky was gray, but if you go to the window now, you are surprised and you lean your cheek against the window latch.”—Franz Kafka, Absently Gazing Out
“Sometimes I have thought she understood me without knowing it. For instance, the time when I was longing for her unbearably, when she was waiting for me in the underground station; I, in my desire to get to her as quickly as possible, thinking she was upstairs, was about to run past her, and she took me quietly by the hand.”—Franz, on Felice Bauer
“When Kafka read aloud himself…humor became particularly clear. Thus, for example, we friends of his laughed quite immoderately when he first let us hear the first chapter of The Trial. And he himself laughed so much that there were moments when he couldn’t read any further. Astonishing enough, when you think of the fearful earnestness of this chapter. But that is how it was.”—from Franz Kafka: A Biography (1960)
"What?" said Karl. "You are a salesman all day and you study all night?"
"Yes," said the student, "there’s nothing else to be done…"
"But when do you sleep?" asked Karl, looking at the student in wonder.
"Oh, sleep!" said the student. "I’ll get some sleep when I’m finished with my studies. I keep myself going on black coffee." And he turned around, drew a big bottle from under the table, poured black coffee from it into a little cup and tossed it down his throat as if it were medicine which he wanted to get quickly over to avoid the taste.
"A fine thing, black coffee," said the student. "It’s a pity you’re too far away for me to reach you some."
"I don’t like black coffee," said Karl.
"I don’t either," said the student, laughing. "But what could I do without it? If it weren’t for black coffee Montly wouldn’t keep me for a minute…I simply don’t know how I would get on in the shop if I didn’t have a big bottle like this under the counter, for I’ve never dared to risk stopping the coffee-drinking; but you can believe me that if I did I would roll down behind the counter in a dead sleep."
“'If I had only spoken sooner, instead of looking out of the window,' Karl told himself, dropping his eyes before the stoker and letting his hands fall to his sides as a sign that all hope was ended.”—from Amerika
“…if Kafka wants to express the absurd, he will make use of consistency. You know the story of the crazy man who was fishing in a bathtub. A doctor with ideas as to psychiatric treatments asked ‘if they were biting,’ to which he received the harsh reply: ‘Of course not, you fool, since this is a bathtub’…Kafka’s world is in truth an indescribable universe in which man allows himself the tormenting luxury of fishing in a bathtub, knowing that nothing will come of it.”—from ‘Hope and the Absurd in the Work of Franz Kafka’ by Albert Camus
“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.”—Franz Kafka (via kafkaesque-world)
“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.”—Franz Kafka, Diaries (via kafkaesque-world)