11 Franz Kafka Quotes That Will Make You Question Your Existence

11 Franz Kafka Quotes That Will Make You Question Your Existence

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By: Cultura Colectiva

July 4, 2018

Books 11 Franz Kafka Quotes That Will Make You Question Your Existence
Avatar of Cultura Colectiva

By: Cultura Colectiva

July 4, 2018

If you have been in an existencial crisis, you might feel related to these Franz Kafka quotes.

Existencial crises happen to almost everyone, even to popular writers, as it is reflected in these Franz Kafka quotes. I'm pretty sure you've all been there in one way or another, whether it is because you question yourself if your work is good enough, if you will ever find the love of your life or if your life is really relevant at all.

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) is one of the most popular writers in German language. He was born in a jewish family in Prague, in which the father was very strict regarding his children education but also very unsupportive of the artistic interest of them.

His most popular book is The Metarmorphosis, a story of a man who one day wakes up and finds out he was turned into an insect. Kafka explore some of his personal issues in this book, which is considered kind of autobiographical.

It was thanks to his friend Max Brod that we have the fortune to have the text. After suffering from a tuberculosis that almost killed him, Kafka asked his friend to burn all of his manuscripts, but one year after the writer finished the story, Max shared the news of this short novel with the editor Kurt Wolff. In the beginning, Kafka agreed, but then he had some doubts, as he was in the middle of a crisis with his girlfriend Felice. In 1914, Kafka send the draft to another publisher who declined on publishing it, so he sent it back to Wolff, who published it in a magazine in 1915.

His influence goes beyond literature, as we often refer to something being "kafkaesque", like when we are in the middle of bizarre situations far from what we think is logical, or when we face a menacing situation that makes us feel paranoid or persecuted.

So get in a "kafkaesque" mood and let us know if you have ever feel this way.


  • "A first sign of the beginning of understanding is the wish to die.”

  • "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."

  • "I am free and that is why I am lost."


  • "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."

  • "By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired."

  • "What if I slept a little more and forgot about all this nonsense."

  • "There is an infinite amount of hope in the universe ... but not for us." 


Photo: Paulo Ziemer

  • "I usually solve problems by letting them devour me."

  • "My guiding principle is this: Guilt is never to be doubted."

  • "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 speaks he lies."

  • "I have hardly anything in common with myself and should stand very quietly in a corner, content that I can breathe."


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Cover Photo: Alan Emery