Franz Kafka 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 facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers. It has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity.
Early Life and Education
Franz Kafka was born in Prague, Bohemia, on July 3, 1883, to Jewish parents. His father, Hermann Kafka, was a prosperous merchant, and his mother, Julie Löwy, was a housewife. Kafka had three sisters.
Kafka attended German schools in Prague, where he was an excellent student. He then studied law at the Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, graduating in 1906. However, he hated working as a lawyer, and he eventually quit his job to focus on writing.
Kafka began writing in his early twenties. His first published work was a short story collection called Kleine Erzählungen (Small Stories), which was published in 1913. His most famous works include the novels The Metamorphosis (1915), The Trial (1925), and The Castle (1926), as well as the short-story collections In the Penal Colony (1919) and A Hunger Artist (1922).
Kafka's work was not widely recognized during his lifetime. He was a very private person, and he published very little of his work. However, he gained a cult following among literati, and his work became more popular after his death.
Kafka's work is characterized by its exploration of themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity. His protagonists are often isolated and powerless, and they struggle to make sense of a world that seems to be governed by irrational and unfathomable forces.
Kafka is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. His work has been translated into many languages, and it has been adapted into films, plays, and operas. His work continues to be studied and admired by readers and scholars around the world.
Some of Kafka's most famous quotes include: