Posted by: Jussara

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

Franz Kafka (*)

(*) I had written this quote on my notebook without informing the source, just the author. So, I’m not completely sure it is Kafka’s. I hope so… 


Posted by: CAROL

He was shy, timid, gentle, and kind, but he wrote gruesome and painful books. He saw the world as full of invisible demons, who tear apart and destroy defenseless people. He was too clear-sighted and too wise to be able to live; he was too weak to fight, he had that weakness of noble, beautiful people who are not able to do battle against the fear of misunderstandings, unkindness, or intellectual lies. Such persons know beforehand that they are powerless and go down in defeat in such a way that they shame the victor. He knew people as only people of great sensitivity are able to know them, as somebody who is alone and sees people almost prophetically, from one flash of a face. He knew the world in a deep and extraordinary manner. He was himself a deep and extraordinary world.

Milená Jesenská (1896 – 1944)

From her obituary to Franz Kafka  (via untroubled in my seeking)

Posted by: Carol


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.

Franz Kafka


Painting by Anna Elizabeth Klumpke (Oil painting – 1912)


“Ah”, disse o rato,”o mundo torna-se a cada dia mais estreito. A princípio era tão vasto que me dava medo, eu continuava correndo e me sentia feliz com o fato de que finalmente via à distância, à direita e à esquerda, as paredes, mas essas longas paredes convergem tão depressa uma para a outra, que já estou no último quarto e lá no canto fica a ratoeira para a qual eu corro.”

“Você só precisa mudar de direção”, disse o gato e devorou-o.

(Franz Kafka, “Pequena Fábula”, tradução de Modesto Carone)