Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Quote day: books

If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it? We would also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves.

But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill-fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.

~~ Franz Kafka

4 comments:

Theresa said...

Well, that explains alot!

Karen E. said...

It does?? How so??

I should have added the caveat that I do *like* happy books ... :-) But we need the ice-axes, too ....

Theresa said...

I just meant that it explains alot about Kafka and his rather jolting subject matter. I always wonder about authors that write unpleasant sorts of things and now, hearing Kafka's own thoughts on the matter, I understand a bit more of the reason behind it.

Karen E. said...

Aaahhh ... got it.