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If the book we are reading does not wake us … why then do we read it?

In a 1904 letter to a friend, Franz Kafka asked a provocative rhetorical—and metaphorical—question: “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read it?” And then he answered the question this way: A book should serve as an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us.

I Never Metaphor I Didn't Like: A Comprehensive Compilation of History's Greatest Analogies, Metaphors, and Similes