The streets of Vienna are paved with culture, the streets of other cities with asphalt.

— Karl Kraus

The most special Karl Kraus quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

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.


Christianity has enriched the erotic meal with the appetizer of curiosity and spoiled it with the dessert of remorse.


Newspapers have roughly the same relationship to life as fortune-tellers to metaphysics.


A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer.


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 devil is an optimist if he thinks he can make people worse than they are.


The pimp is the executive organ of immorality. The executive organ of morality is the blackmailer.


Intercourse with a woman is sometimes a satisfactory substitute for masturbation. But it takes a lot of imagination to make it work.


Anesthesia: wounds without pain. Neurasthenia: pain without wounds.


About Karl Kraus

Quotes 241 sayings
Nationality Austrian
Profession Writer
Birthday October 16

A weak man has doubts before a decision; a strong man has them afterwards.


Experiences are savings which a miser puts aside. Wisdom is an inheritance which a wastrel cannot exhaust.


Chastity always takes its toll. In some it produces pimples; in others, sex laws.


How is the world ruled and led to war? Diplomats lie to journalists and believe these lies when they see them in print.


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.


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.


Moral responsibility is what is lacking in a man when he demands it of a woman.


Progress, under whose feet the grass mourns and the forest turns into paper from which newspaper plants grow, has subordinated the purpose of life to the means of subsistence and turned us into the nuts and bolts for our tools.


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.


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.


Education is a crutch with which the foolish attack the wise to prove that they are not idiots.


An illusion of depth often occurs if a blockhead is a muddlehead at the same time


The unattractive thing about chauvinism is not so much the aversion to other nations as the love of one's own.


The triumph of morality: A thief who has broken into a bedroom claims his sense of shame had been outraged, and by threatening theoccupants with exposure of an immoral act he blackmails them into not bringing charges for burglary.


A woman occasionally is quite a serviceable substitute for masturbation.


Since the law prohibits the keeping of wild animals and I get no enjoyment from pets, I prefer to remain unmarried.


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.


Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.


My unconscious knows more about the consciousness of the psychologist than his consciousness knows about my unconscious.


He who sleeps half a day has won half a life.


One's need for loneliness is not satisfied if one sits at a table alone.

There must be empty chairs as well.


A white lie is always pardonable. But he who tells the truth without compulsion merits no leniency.


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.


The heroes of obtrusiveness, people with whom no soldier would lie down in the trenches, though he has to submit to being interviewed by them, break into recently abandoned royal castles so that they can report, "We got there first!" It would be far less shameful to be paid for committing atrocities than for fabricating them.


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.


Adults who still derive childlike pleasure from hanging gifts of a ready-made education on the Christmas tree of a child waiting outside the door to life do not realize how unreceptive they are making the children to everything that constitutes the true surprise of life.


He who does without the praise of the crowd will not deny himself an opportunity to be his own adherent.


Immortality is the only thing which doesn't tolerate being postponed.


Insights into erotic life belong to art, not education.

But sometimes these have to be spelled out for the illiterates. And it ismainly a matter of convincing the illiterates, for they are the ones who write the penal code.


What are all the orgies of Bacchus when compared to the intoxication of someone who completely surrenders to continence!


A comprehensive education is a well-stocked pharmacy: but we have no assurance that potassium cyanide will not be administered fora head cold.


Sentimental irony is a dog that bays at the moon while pissing on graves.


In Berlin, things are serious but not hopeless. In Vienna, they are hopeless but not serious.


Matrimony is the union of meanness and martyrdom.


Hate must make a man productive. Otherwise one might as well love.


Culture is the tacit agreement to let the means of subsistence disappear behind the purpose of existence.

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