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Franz Kafka 1883-1924. “Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”. Short Biography. Born in Prague, now in the Czech Republic but then part of Austria.

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Franz Kafka 1883-1924


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franz kafka 1883 1924

Franz Kafka1883-1924

“Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”

short biography
Short Biography
  • Born in Prague, now in the Czech Republic but then part of Austria.
  • Father was Hermann Kafka, an owner of a large dry goods establishment; mother Julie (Löwy) Kafka, belonged to one of the leading families in the German-speaking, German-cultured Jewish circles of Prague.
  • Hermann Kafka was a tyrant, who directed his anger against his son.
  • Also had three sisters, all of whom perished in Nazi camps.
  • Educated at the German National and Civic Elementary School and the German National Humanistic Gymnasium. In 1901 entered Ferdinand-Karls University, where he studied law and received a doctorate in 1906.
  • About 1904 began writing, making reports on industrial accidents and health hazard in the office by day, and writing stories by night.
  • Had many girlfriends, many affairs, and a number of broken engagements.
  • In 1912 met Felice Bauer, a twenty-four-year-old businesswoman from Berlin. Their relationship lasted for five years.
biography cont
Biography (cont.)
  • In August 1917 contracted tuberculosis and spent ten months with his sister Ottla in the Bohemian village of Zuerau.
  • In 1919 he was hospitalized because of influenza. Kafka spent increasing periods of time on leave in various rural sanatoriums.
  • He fell in love with Milena Jesenská, a twenty-four-year-old writer, who had translated some of his stories into Czech. After they separated she worked as a journalist and became a Resistance hero. Jesenská died in a German concentration camp in 1944.
  • Kafka retired in 1922 on a pension. Next year he met on the Baltic Dora Diamant, a twenty-year old woman from an Orthodox Jewish family. Dora survived Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and World War II. She died in London in 1952.
  • His health rapidly deteriorated. In 1924 Kafka moved with Dora to the Kierling Sanatorium outside Vienna.
  • Died of tuberculosis on June 3, 1924.
themes
Themes
  • Alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Family relationships, esp. father/son relationship
  • Isolation
  • Society’s treatment of those who are different
major works
Major Works

Short Stories

  • Description of a Struggle
  • Wedding Preparations in the Country
  • The Judgment
  • The Metamorphosis
  • In the Penal Colony
  • The Village Schoolmaster
  • Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor
  • A Country Doctor
  • The Hunter Gracchus
  • The Great Wall of China
  • A Report to an Academy
  • The Refusal
  • A Hunger Artist
  • Investigations of a Dog
  • A Little Woman
  • The Burrow
  • Josephine the Singer, or The Mouse Folk

Novels

  • The Trial
  • The Castle
  • America
awards achievements
Awards & Achievements

No Awards. Most of Kafka’s work was published posthumously. His unique body of writing continues to challenge critics, and attempts to classify his work are generally inadequate.