Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka

  • Czech Republic

“I am nothing but literature,” he self-proclaimed, “and can and want to be nothing else.” Franz Kafka, born in Prague in 1883, to a German-speaking Jewish family, wrote in German and left one of the most influential philosophical and literary legacies in the 20th century. Kafka worked as a clerk in an insurance company, and in his spare time – worked on his writing. The term “Kafkaesque” refers to a view of society described in Kafka’s writings. Alongside his famous texts, The Trial (Der Prozeß), The Metamorphosis (Die Verwandlung), and The Castle (Das Schloss), Kafka has also written short stories and fragments which he called “observations.” Like other great writers, such as Flaubert, Kafka’s personal writings – his diaries and the letters to his lovers – were widely published posthumously. In one of his most-known personal piece of writing, “Letter to the Father,” he comes to terms with his alienated father. In 1924, at the age of 40, Kafka died from laryngeal tuberculosis. In his will, he asked to burn all his writings. His close friend, author Max Brod, chose not to honor his request.

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