It is attributed to him on various famous quote sites but strikes me as spurious. the only source attribution is to Letters to Milena but I haven't read it in years and don't have a copy.

2 Answers 2


The earliest version of this quote that I was able to find appeared on Twitter in February 2013.

i don't know if i want to drown myself in love, vodka, or the sea

@ChilllSlut, 2013-02-18 11:15. twitter.com.

The quote became popular on Twitter immediately: if you do your own searches, you'll find many hundreds of instances. The attribution to ChilllSlut was quickly stripped, but it took a while for the attribution to Kafka to be added: the earliest instance of this that I was able to find is from bunsonganak05 on Instagram in 2016. The false attribution was copied to collections of quotations, and from there into print in 2019:

“I no longer know if I wish to drown myself in love, vodka or the sea.” — Franz Kafka

Hugo Chandler, ed. (2019). Franz Kafka… Whispers in Prague, p. 14. novum publishing.


I found a searchable file online of Letters to Milena. (It's more readable here but not searchable.) The word "drown" appears six times, but none of them is in anything resembling this phrase.

A couple of other online sources attribute the same quote to Grantaire from Les Misérables, but searching that text for "drown" was similarly fruitless.

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