Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

"In a world of lies, one lie cannot even be destroyed by its opposite; it can be destroyed only by a world of truth."

"We are sinful not merely because we have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, but also because we have not yet eaten of the Tree of Life. The state in which we find ourselves is sinful, quite independent of guilt."

"A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. I can prove at any time that my education tried to make another person out of me than the one I became. It is for the harm, therefore, that my educators could have done me in accordance with their intentions that I reproach them; I demand from their hands the person I now am, and since they cannot give him to me, I make of my reproach and laughter a drum beat sounding in the world beyond."

"Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself, though both the indestructible element and the trust may remain permanently hidden from him. One of the ways in which this hiddenness can express itself is through faith in a personal god."

"The mediation by the serpent was necessary. Evil can seduce man, but cannot become man."

"Adam's first domestic pet after the expulsion from Paradise was the serpent."

"Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable."

"Atlas was permitted the opinion that he was at liberty, if he wished, to drop the Earth and creep away, but this opinion was all that he was permitted."

"Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy."

"The Messiah will come only when he is no longer necessary, he will come only one day after his arrival . . ."