Karl Krauss by Oskar Kokoschka, 1901
I hear noises which others don’t hear and which disturb for me the music of the spheres, which others don’t hear either.Many share my views with me. But I don’t share them with them.
The tyranny of necessity grants its slaves three kinds of freedom: opinion free from intellect, entertainment free from art, and orgies free from love.
Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.
An aphorism can never be the whole truth; it is either a half-truth or a truth-and-a-half.
The closer the look one takes at a word, the greater the distance from which it looks back.
One of the most widespread diseases is diagnosis.
In one ear and out the other: this would still make the head a transit station. What I hear has to go out the same ear.
I have often been asked to be fair and view a matter from all sides. I did so, hoping something might improve if I viewed all sides of it. But the result was the same. So I went back to viewing things only from one side, which saves me a lot of work and disappointment. For it is comforting to regard something as bad and be able use one’s prejudice as an excuse.
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.
The esthete stands in the same relation to beauty as the pornographer stands to love, and the politician stands to life.
The superman is a premature ideal, one that presupposes a man.
When someone has behaved like an animal, he says: “I’m only human!” But when he is treated like an animal, he says: “I’m human, too!”
There is no doubt that a dog is loyal. But does that mean we should emulate him? After all, he is loyal to people, not to other dogs.
The devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people meaner.
Karl Kraus (1874-1936) was an Austrian writer, journalist, satirist, essayist, aphorist, playwright, and poet.
The risk run by the aphorist is that people will grow restless between aphorisms, because they aren’t getting enough of what it says on the label.