Selected quotes from short stories by Franz Kafka

Book: The Complete Short Stories of Franz Kafka
Status: Still reading.

Back to good ole Kafka and the book I am currently reading, The Complete Short Stories.
I thought I’d combine a few short stories that have the smaller amount of quotes for them.
Obviously this doesn’t mean I like the stories any less; as a matter of fact, ‘In The Penal Colony’ and ‘A Country Doctor’ are among my favourites. Like many other Kafka stories, the endings are the most quotable.. and I don’t give away endings.
So here are small parts of ‘In The Penal Colony’, ‘A Country Doctor’, ‘The Great Wall of China’, ‘A Little Woman’ and ‘The Hunter Gracchus: A Fragment’  that I enjoyed.

In The Penal Colony

“But how quiet he grows at the sixth hour! Enlightenment comes to the most dull witted. It begins around the eyes. From there it radiates. A moment that might tempt one to get under the Harrow oneself! Nothing more happens than that the man begins to understand the inscription, he purses his mouth as if he were listening. You have seen how difficult it is to decipher the script with one’s eyes, but our man deciphers it with his wounds…”

A Country Doctor

“’Do you know’, said a voice in my ear, ‘I have very little confidence in you. Why, you were only blown in here, you didn’t come on your own feet. Instead of helping me, you’re cramping me on my deathbed. What I’d like best is to scratch your eyes out.’”

The Great Wall Of China

“Human nature, essentially changeable, unstable as the dust, can endure no restraint, if it binds itself it soon begins to tear madly at its bonds, until it rends everything asunder, the wall, the bonds, and its very self.”

A Little Woman

“…I am always doing the wrong thing to her, I annoy her at every step, if a life could be cut into the smallest pieces of small pieces and every scrap of it could be separately assessed, every scrap of my life would certainly be an offence to her.”

The Hunter Gracchus: A Fragment

“’What? I not know when my master dies? You’re really a bit simple-minded.’
‘Are you trying to insult me?’
‘Not at all, I do it without meaning to. ..’”

Unfortunately the part of the full story ‘The Hunter Gracchus’ that struck me the most was the final paragraph, so I won’t be quoting that!

Taken from the various short stories by Franz Kafka, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir and Tania and James Stern.
Available from Amazon UK  –


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