Franz Werfel

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Real life seems to have no plots.
Ivy Compton Burnett
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Between too early and too late, there is never more than a moment.

Franz Werfel (10 September 189026 August 1945) was an Austrian-Bohemian novelist, playwright, and poet who wrote in German.


  • Magnify the divine mystery and the holiness of mankind.
    • Preface to Das Lied Von Bernadette [The Song of Bernadette] (1941)
  • Zwischen zu früh und zu spät, liegt immer nur ein Augenblick.
    • Between too early and too late, there is never more than a moment.
      • Jacobowsky und der Oberst : Komödie einer Tragödie in drei Akten (1945), p. 52
  • Der sicherste Reichtum ist die Armut an Bedürfnissen.
    • The safest wealth is the poverty of needs.
      • Zwischen oben und unten (1946), p. 315
  • For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible.
    • As quoted in Philippine Studies (1953) by Ateneo de Manila, p. 269; also in Everest : The Mountaineering History (2000) by Walt Unsworth, p. 100
  • Happiness is ... the grace of being permitted to unfold ... all the spiritual powers planted within us.
    • As quoted in Journey to New Beginnings : Finding Peace Within (2006) by Debbie Ziemann, p. 167


  • Dass es die Todesstrafe gibt, ist weniger bezeichnend für unsere Gesittung, als dass sich Henker finden.
    • The existence of the death penalty is less instructive on our morality than the possibility of finding executioners.
  • Müßiggang ist allen Geistes Anfang.
    • Idleness is the beginning of all mind.

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