Franz Kafka - The Trial
22 Sourced Quotes
This question of yours, Sir, about my being a house painter — or rather, not a question, you simply made a statement — is typical of the whole character of this trial that is being foisted on me. You may object that it is not a trial at all; you are quite right, for it is only a trial if I recognize it as such. But for the moment I do recognize it, on grounds of compassion, as it were. One can't regard it except with compassion, if one is to regard it at all. I do not say that your procedure is contemptible, but I should like to present that epithet to you for your private consumption.
What an obstacle had suddenly arisen to block K.'s career! And this was the moment when he was supposed to work for the bank? He looked down at his desk. This the time to interview clients and negotiate with them? While his case was unfolding itself, while up in the attics the Court officials were poring over the charge papers, was he to devote his attention to the affairs of the bank? It looked like a kind of torture sanctioned by the Court, arising from his case and concomitant with it.
Logic may indeed be unshakeable, but it cannot withstand a man who is determined to live. Where was the judge he had never seen? Where was the High Court he had never reached? He raised his hands and spread out all his fingers. But the hands of one of the men closed round his throat, just as the other drove the knife deep into his heart and turned it twice.
It requires enormous presence of mind or rather quickness of wit, when opening your eyes to seize hold as it were of everything in the room at exactly the same place where you had let it go on the previous evening. That is why the moment of waking up was the riskiest moment of the day. Once that was well over without deflecting you from your orbit, you could take heart of grace for the rest of the day.