Quote of the Day – Franz Kafka

I’ve been saving this one for today. It’s from a letter Kafka wrote, dated 27 January 1904. I want to write the kind of books he’s talking about…

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.
– Franz Kafka, Letter to Oskar Pollak

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