The Trial Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Trial The Trial by Franz Kafka
156,209 ratings, 3.98 average rating, 4,702 reviews
Open Preview
The Trial Quotes (showing 1-30 of 84)
“It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“It would have been so pointless to kill himself that, even if he had wanted to, the pointlessness would have made him unable.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“They're talking about things of which they don't have the slightest understanding, anyway. It's only because of their stupidity that they're able to be so sure of themselves.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.' 'A melancholy conclusion,' said K. 'It turns lying into a universal principle.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“No," said the priest, "you don't need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary." "Depressing view," said K. "The lie made into the rule of the world.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“The right understanding of any matter and a misunderstanding of the same matter do not wholly exclude each other.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“I like to make use of what I know”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“But I’m not guilty,” said K. “there’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“It is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Before he dies, all his experiences in these long years gather themselves in his head to one point, a ques-tion he has not yet asked the doorkeeper. He waves him nearer, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend low towards him, for the difference in height between them has altered much to the man's disadvantage. "What do you want to know now?" asks the doorkeeper; "you are insati-able." "Everyone strives to reach the Law," says the man, "so how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has ever begged for admit-tance?" The doorkeeper recognizes that the man has reached his end, and to let his failing senses catch the words roars in his ear: "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“I see, these books are probably law books, and it is an essential part of the justice dispensed here that you should be condemned not only in innocence but also in ignorance.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Like a Dog!”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“The books we need are of the kind that act upon us like a misfortune,that makes us suffer like the death of someone we love more than ourselves, that make us feel as though we were on the verge of suicide,lost in a forest remote from all human habitation”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“One must lie low, no matter how much it went against the grain, and try to understand that this great organization remained, so to speak, in a state of delicate balance, and that if someone took it upon himself to alter the dispositions of things around him, he ran the risk of losing his footing and falling to destruction, while the organization would simply right itself by some compensating reaction in another part of its machinery – since everything interlocked – and remain unchanged, unless, indeed, which was very probable, it became still more rigid, more vigilant, severer, and more ruthless.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Like a dog!" he said, it was as if the shame of it should outlive him.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“It's sometimes quite astonishing that a single, average life is enough to encompass so much that it's at all possible ever to have any success in one's work here.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“You're not cross with me, though?" he said. She pulled her hand away and answered, "No, no, I'm never cross with anyone.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
tags: women
“But I cannot find my way in this darkness," said K. "Turn left to the wall," said the priest, "then follow the wall without leaving it and you'll come to a door." The priest had already taken a step or two away from him, but K. cried out in a loud voice, "please wait a moment." "I am waiting," said the priest. "Don't you want anything more form me?" asked K. "No," said the priest. "You were so friendly to me for a time," said K., "and explained so much to me, and now you let me go as if you cared nothing about me." "But you have to leave now," said the priest. "Well, yes," said K., "you must see that I can't help it." "You must first see who I am," said the priest. "You are the prison chaplain," said K., groping his way nearer to the priest again; his immediate return to the Bank was not so necessary as he had made out, he could quite stay longer. "That means I belong to the Court," said the priest. "So why should I want anything from you? The court wants nothing from you. It receives you when you came and it dismisses you when you go.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“You must not pay too much attention to opinions. The written word is unalterable, and opinions are often only an expression of despair.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“You do not need to accept everything as true, you only have to accept it as necessary.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Judgement does not come suddenly; the proceedings gradually merge into the judgement.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“The books were old
and well worn, the cover of one of them had nearly broken through in its
middle, and it was held together with a few threads. "Everything is so
dirty here," said K., shaking his head, and before he could pick the
books up the woman wiped some of the dust off with her apron. K. took
hold of the book that lay on top and threw it open, an indecent picture
appeared. A man and a woman sat naked on a sofa, the base intent of
whoever drew it was easy to see but he had been so grossly lacking in
skill that all that anyone could really make out were the man and the
woman who dominated the picture with their bodies, sitting in overly
upright postures that created a false perspective and made it difficult
for them to approach each other. K. didn't thumb through that book any
more, but just threw open the next one at its title page, it was a novel
with the title, What Grete Suffered from her Husband, Hans. "So this is
the sort of law book they study here," said K., "this is the sort of
person sitting in judgement over me.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Before the Law stands a doorkeeper on guard. To this doorkeeper there comes a man from the country who begs for admittance to the Law. But the doorkeeper says that he cannot admit the man at the moment. The man, on reflection, asks if he will be allowed, then, to enter later. 'It is possible,' answers the doorkeeper, 'but not at this moment.' Since the door leading into the Law stands open as usual and the doorkeeper steps to one side, the man bends down to peer through the entrance. When the doorkeeper sees that, he laughs and says: 'If you are so strongly tempted, try to get in without my permission. But note that I am powerful. And I am only the lowest doorkeeper. From hall to hall keepers stand at every door, one more powerful than the other. Even the third of these has an aspect that even I cannot bear to look at.' These are difficulties which the man from the country has not expected to meet, the Law, he thinks, should be accessible to every man and at all times, but when he looks more closely at the doorkeeper in his furred robe, with his huge pointed nose and long, thin, Tartar beard, he decides that he had better wait until he gets permission to enter. The doorkeeper gives him a stool and lets him sit down at the side of the door. There he sits waiting for days and years. He makes many attempts to be allowed in and wearies the doorkeeper with his importunity. The doorkeeper often engages him in brief conversation, asking him about his home and about other matters, but the questions are put quite impersonally, as great men put questions, and always conclude with the statement that the man cannot be allowed to enter yet. The man, who has equipped himself with many things for his journey, parts with all he has, however valuable, in the hope of bribing the doorkeeper. The doorkeeper accepts it all, saying, however, as he takes each gift: 'I take this only to keep you from feeling that you have left something undone.' During all these long years the man watches the doorkeeper almost incessantly. He forgets about the other doorkeepers, and this one seems to him the only barrier between himself and the Law. In the first years he curses his evil fate aloud; later, as he grows old, he only mutters to himself. He grows childish, and since in his prolonged watch he has learned to know even the fleas in the doorkeeper's fur collar, he begs the very fleas to help him and to persuade the doorkeeper to change his mind. Finally his eyes grow dim and he does not know whether the world is really darkening around him or whether his eyes are only deceiving him. But in the darkness he can now perceive a radiance that streams immortally from the door of the Law. Now his life is drawing to a close. Before he dies, all that he has experienced during the whole time of his sojourn condenses in his mind into one question, which he has never yet put to the doorkeeper. He beckons the doorkeeper, since he can no longer raise his stiffening body. The doorkeeper has to bend far down to hear him, for the difference in size between them has increased very much to the man's disadvantage. 'What do you want to know now?' asks the doorkeeper, 'you are insatiable.' 'Everyone strives to attain the Law,' answers the man, 'how does it come about, then, that in all these years no one has come seeking admittance but me?' The doorkeeper perceives that the man is at the end of his strength and that his hearing is failing, so he bellows in his ear: 'No one but you could gain admittance through this door, since this door was intended only for you. I am now going to shut it.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“If he stayed at home and carried on with his normal life he would be a thousand times superior to these people and could get any of them out of his way just with a kick.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Anyway, it’s best not to think about them, as if you do it makes the discussions with the other lawyers, all their advice and all that they do manage to achieve, seem so unpleasant and useless, I had that experience myself, just wanted to throw everything away and lay at home in bed and hear nothing more about it. But that, of course, would be the stupidest thing you could do, and you wouldn’t be left in peace in bed for very long either.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“Next time I come here," he said to himself, "I must either bring sweets with me to make them like me or a stick to hit them with.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
“In front of the law there is a doorkeeper. A man from the countryside comes up to the door and asks for entry. But the doorkeeper says he can't let him in to the law right now. The man thinks about this, and then he asks if he'll be able to go in later on. "That's possible," says the doorkeeper, "but not now". The gateway to the law is open as it always is, and the doorkeeper has stepped to one side, so the man bends over to try and see in. When the doorkeeper notices this he laughs and says, "If you're tempted give it a try, try and go in even though I say you can't. Careful though: I'm powerful. And I'm only the lowliest of all the doormen. But there’s a doorkeeper for each of the rooms and each of them is more powerful than the last. It's more than I can stand just to look at the third one.”
Franz Kafka, The Trial
tags: law

« previous 1 3

All Quotes
Quotes By Franz Kafka
Play The 'Guess That Quote' Game