Posted by: Lizzie Ross | September 8, 2010

The frozen sea within us

Kafka 1906

Just a quick quote about the importance of books. Kafka wrote

… ein Buch muß die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns

In English: A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us.

Kafka was talking about books that shock, that beat us about the head, that “wound and stab” us. Books change readers, and he wanted that change to be drastic.

This may be what those who challenge and ban (and burn) books fear — the drastic change that comes with reading new ideas. Very dangerous indeed.

I see black ice ahead, so where’s that axe?


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