Artist’s Corner: Franz Kafka on the Books to Read and Write

20120424-020027.jpg“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

QOL: meaning and truth


5 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Well, it’s not a surprise! your post reminded me of a time over 20 years ago when I was at the doctors for an injection and the nurse saw me reading Kafka and she said “you must be the fainting kind”.

  2. Cassie,

    I could not agree more – unbelievable. I’m putting this on my blog, thank you.

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