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Franz Kafka

Franz Kafka was a German-language writer on short stories or novels who lived and the end of the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century (from 1883 to 1924). He became famous for his unique style of writing and he was influential for many other writers in the world.

The most towering figure

He is often considered to be one of the most towering figures of 20th century authors. Many motives are about brutality, labyrinths of bureaucracy, mystical transformations, and last but not least conflict between a child and a parent.

German-speaking author

Franz Kafka was born in German-speaking Jewish family in Prague. His Jewish community found itself between German speaking and Czech speaking communities. He trained as a lawyer and he was employed with an insurance company in the meanwhile he wrote short stories. He loved letter communication as a form of expression himself. He had really complicated and also troubled relationship with his father which had a great influence on his writing.

His work

Even though not many works were published during his life, for example Contemplation, A Country Doctor, or individual stories – Die Verwandlung – The Metamorphosis, he felt not to be understand by his contemporaries.

Notable work

  • Die Verwandlung (“The Metamorphosis”)
  • Der Process (The Trial)
  • Das Urteil (“The Judgment”)
  • Das Schloss (The Castle)
  • Betrachtung (Contemplation)
  • Ein Hungerkünstler(A Hunger Artist)
  • Briefe an Felice(Letters to Felice)

Unfinished literature

Because of his early heath there are unfinished works, such as the novel Der Process, Das Schloss, or America (which is known Der Verschollene, The Man Who Disappeared). These were published after his death mostly by his close friend Max Brod who did not accept Kafka’s wish to destroy the manuscripts.


Albert Camus, Gabriel García Márquez or Jean-Paul Sartre were influenced by his work and the term Kafkaesque became a part of the English language in order to describe existential situations typical for his style of writing.