Karl Kraus Quotes
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The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.
Someone who can write aphorisms should not fritter away his time in essays.
Corruption is worse than prostitution. The latter might endanger the morals of an individual, the former invariably endangers the morals of the entire country.
I had a terrible vision: I saw an encyclopedia walk up to a polymath and open him up.
The sound principle of a topsy-turvy lifestyle in the framework of an upside-down world order has stood every test.
An aphorism is never exactly true; it is either a half-truth or one-and-a-half truths.
A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.
Newspapers have roughly the same relationship to life as fortune-tellers to metaphysics.
Christianity has enriched the erotic meal with the appetizer of curiosity and spoiled it with the dessert of remorse.
The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
The secret of the demagogue is to make himself as stupid as his audience so they believe they are clever as he.
Solitude would be ideal if you could pick the people to avoid.
Anesthesia: wounds without pain. Neurasthenia: pain without wounds.
Intercourse with a woman is sometimes a satisfactory substitute for masturbation. But it takes a lot of imagination to make it work.
The pimp is the executive organ of immorality. The executive organ of morality is the blackmailer.
Barbershop conversations are irrefutable proof that heads exist for the sake of hair.
A weak man has doubts before a decision; a strong man has them afterwards.
No ideas and the ability to express them - that's a journalist.
When a culture feels that its end has come, it sends for a priest.
The world has become uglier since it began to look into a mirror every day; so let us settle for the mirror image and do without an inspection of the original.
How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.
Experiences are savings which a miser puts aside. Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust.
Sexuality poorly repressed unsettles some families; well repressed, it unsettles the whole world.
Morality is a venereal disease. Its primary stage is called virtue; its secondary stage, boredom; its tertiary stage, syphilis.
To me all men are equal: there are jackasses everywhere, and I have the same contempt for them all.
This is something that I cannot get over -- that a whole line could be written by half a man, that a work could be built on the quicksand of a character.
Moral responsibility is what is lacking in a man when he demands it of a woman.
Nationalism is the love which ties me to the blockheads of my country, to the insultors of my way of life, and to the desecrators of my language.
The unattractive thing about chauvinism is not so much the aversion to other nations as the love of one's own.
An illusion of depth often occurs if a blockhead is a muddlehead at the same time
Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.
Language is the mother of thought, not its handmaiden.
Since the law prohibits the keeping of wild animals and I get no enjoyment from pets, I prefer to remain unmarried.
My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious.
I and my public understand each other very well: it does not hear what I say, and I don't say what it wants to hear.
A white lie is always pardonable. But he who tells the truth without compulsion merits no leniency.
There is no more unfortunate creature under the sun than a fetishist who yearns for a woman's shoe and has to settle for the whole woman.
When I want to go to sleep, I must first get a whole menagerie of voices to shut up. You wouldn't believe what a racket they make in my room.
Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that they are not idiots.
How do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists, then believe what they read.
It is not true that one cannot live without a woman. It is simply that one cannot have lived without one.
My language is the common prostitute that I turn into a virgin.
I can say with pride that I have spent days and nights not reading anything, and that with unflagging energy I use every moment toacquire gradually an encyclopedic lack of education.
He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.
In Berlin, things are serious but not hopeless. In Vienna, they are hopeless but not serious.
Where do I find the time for not reading so many books?
One's need for loneliness is not satisfied if one sits at a table alone. There must be empty chairs as well.
The mission of the press is to spread culture while destroying the attention span.
Matrimony is the union of meanness and martyrdom.