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Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka (born Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic)) was a German-language novelist and short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated... show more
Franz Kafka (born Prague, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary (now Czech Republic)) was a German-language novelist and short story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists faced by bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible social-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His best known works include "Die Verwandlung" ("The Metamorphosis"), "Der Process" ("The Trial"), and "Das Schloss" ("The Castle"). The term Kafkaesque has entered the English language to describe situations like those in his writing.

Kafka was born into a middle-class, German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, the capital of the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He trained as a lawyer, and after completing his legal education he was employed with an insurance company, forcing him to relegate writing to his spare time. Over the course of his life, Kafka wrote hundreds of letters to family and close friends, including his father, with whom he had a strained and formal relationship. He became engaged to several women but never married. He died in 1924 at the age of 40 from tuberculosis.

Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: the story collections "Betrachtung" ("Contemplation") and "Ein Landarzt" ("A Country Doctor"), and individual stories (such as "Die Verwandlung") were published in literary magazines but received little public attention. Kafka's unfinished works, including his novels "Der Process", "Das Schloss" and "Amerika" (also known as "Der Verschollene," "The Man Who Disappeared"), were ordered by Kafka to be destroyed by his friend Max Brod, who nonetheless ignored his friend's direction and published them after Kafka's death. His work went on to influence a vast range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers during the 20th century.
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Birth date: 1883-07-03
Died: 1924-06-03
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Community Reviews
brokenbiscuits
brokenbiscuits rated it 2 years ago
Books of 1916: Part Two The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka Since childhood I’ve been familiar with the plot of this short novel; people talk about it all the time because it’s so compelling. I even had the first sentence memorized thanks to my older brother. Reciting it was a warm-up exercise in s...
Haidji - Books...and...Books!
Haidji - Books...and...Books! rated it 4 years ago
This book can be read as an introduction to dystopian literature.Joseph K. (the protagonist) arrives in a village and struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities who govern it from a castle. K. believes that he's been invited to a town to do some land surveying, and realises upon his arri...
Philosophical Musings of a Book Nerd
Okay, maybe I shouldn't be writing too much about this particular short story (if one can call it a story) because it is really only ten pages long, though the funny thing about Kafka is that despite the fact that a piece of writing is, well, short, you can still get an enormous amount out of it (as...
Edward
Edward rated it 4 years ago
The first page of Kafka's letter to his fatherFrom Feedback to Reflux: Kafka's Cybernetics of Revolt, by Tom McCarthyPublisher's Note--Letter to the Father/Brief an den Vater
A Man With An Agenda
A Man With An Agenda rated it 5 years ago
I blundered. I suspect I wouldn't have been in love with this anyway, but I can't blame my feelings exclusively on 'The Trial'. I blame technology.Instead of sticking with the physical copy I own - the 'definitive edition' translated by Willa and Edwin Muir that includes unfinished chapters and reda...
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