Quotes

Kafka's Friend: What are you working on?
Kafka: Oh, a thing about a man who wakes up to find himself transformed into a giant insect.

(Kafka talking to Bizzlebek the gravedigger/stonecarver/sculptor)
Bizzlebek: But no one should call himself an artist unless he's paid for it, and perhaps not even then.
Kafka: Yours is a very noisy line of work.
Bizzlebek: Well, it's external noise, whereas you — the reverberations are inside. I've read your stories; they're quite fantastic.
Kafka: I can't imagine what you could have seen.
Bizzlebek: Oh, just what you've published.
Kafka: In magazines nobody reads. They should be filed away in the Castle with all the other useless bits of paper.
Bizzlebek: Nonetheless, some of us take an interest in your case. That one story, for instance, about the penal colony—
Kafka: Hm?
Bizzlebek: The needles inscribing the judgment into the flesh of the condemned man. It's...it's new. I need to find a clever device to make my work more noticeable.

Kafka (narrating what is apparently a letter to his mother): The terrible toil of the insurance office continues as ever. I am continually harassed by petty tyrants, as I issue pointless reports. My friend Eduard has disappeared. You never met him though because I never dared bring a friend home, not with Father lording over us all from his armchair. Now I gather Anna paid you a visit. My relations with her have been...difficult, to say the least, and I can only hope Father didn't frighten her away any further. Your son, your loving son, your occasionally loving son, your incapable of loving son, your absolutely bored to death with any sort of family life son.

Inspector Grubach: Kafka...Kafka...Kafka? Is that your real name?
Kafka: Yes, why shouldn't it be?

Chief Clerk: I understand you fancy yourself as a writer.
Kafka: In a small way.
Chief Clerk: You should find a more...athletic hobby. Put some color in your cheeks.

(Kafka talking to his two totally incompetent assistants, Ludwig and Oscar.)
Oscar: It's not too bad working here, though.
Kafka: You've never felt it was a horrible double life from which there's probably no escape but insanity?
Ludwig: Yes.
Oscar: No.
Both: No.
Kafka: I envy you.
Oscar: You should be content, you know.
Ludwig: You should!


(Kafka narrates a somewhat shortened, altered Letter to his Father.)

Kafka: Dearest Father,
I had always believed that it is better to know the truth than to live in ignorance. Now I shall find out if I was right. I can no longer deny that I am part of the world around me, nor can I deny, despite our differences, that I remain your son. And so I hope only that these late, perhaps insignificant, realizations might reassure us both a little and make our living and our dying easier.

(Kafka prepares to enter the mysterious Castle.)
Kafka: You mentioned that you admire my work.
Bizzlebek: Yes...
Kafka: Would you do me a favor?
Bizzlebek: Another one?
Kafka: Well, if I don't see you later, would you go to my house, find my notebooks, and destroy them. And all of my manuscripts, they're none of them finished. Just burn them, all right?
Bizzlebek: What an extraordinary request.
Kafka: A true friend would do it.
Bizzlebek: Not necessarily...A wife would! (Laughs)

(Kafka after finding out the secret of the Castle.)
Kafka: I've tried to write nightmares, and you've built one.


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