Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Quote of the Day (Franz Kafka, on the ‘Books That Wound and Stab Us’)

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for? ...we need the 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 inside us.”—German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short-story writer Franz Kafka (1883-1924), letter to Oskar Pollak, Jan. 27, 1904, in Letters to Friends, Family and Editors, translated by Richard and Clara Winston (1987)

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