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He died in at the age of 40 from tuberculosis.

Franz Kafka

Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime: Kafka's unfinished works, including his novels Der Process , Das Schloss and Der Verschollene translated as both Amerika and 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. His family were German-speaking middle-class Ashkenazi Jews. His father, Hermann Kafka — , was the fourth child of Jakob Kafka, [7] [8] a shochet or ritual slaughterer in Osek , a Czech village with a large Jewish population located near Strakonice in southern Bohemia.

After working as a travelling sales representative, he eventually became a fashion retailer who employed up to 15 people and used the image of a jackdaw kavka in Czech, pronounced and colloquially written as kafka as his business logo. Kafka's parents probably spoke a German influenced by Yiddish that was sometimes pejoratively called Mauscheldeutsch , but, as the German language was considered the vehicle of social mobility, they probably encouraged their children to speak Standard German.

Ottilie was his favourite sister.

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Hermann is described by the biographer Stanley Corngold as a "huge, selfish, overbearing businessman" [15] and by Franz Kafka as "a true Kafka in strength, health, appetite, loudness of voice, eloquence, self-satisfaction, worldly dominance, endurance, presence of mind, [and] knowledge of human nature". Consequently, Kafka's childhood was somewhat lonely, [17] and the children were reared largely by a series of governesses and servants.

The Kafka family had a servant girl living with them in a cramped apartment. Franz's room was often cold.

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In November the family moved into a bigger apartment, although Ellie and Valli had married and moved out of the first apartment. In early August , just after World War I began, the sisters did not know where their husbands were in the military and moved back in with the family in this larger apartment.

Both Ellie and Valli also had children. Franz at age 31 moved into Valli's former apartment, quiet by contrast, and lived by himself for the first time. His Jewish education ended with his Bar Mitzvah celebration at the age of Kafka never enjoyed attending the synagogue and went with his father only on four high holidays a year. German was the language of instruction, but Kafka also spoke and wrote in Czech. In addition, law required a longer course of study, giving Kafka time to take classes in German studies and art history.

At the end of his first year of studies, Kafka met Max Brod , a fellow law student who became a close friend for life. On 1 November , Kafka was hired at the Assicurazioni Generali , an insurance company, where he worked for nearly a year. His correspondence during that period indicates that he was unhappy with a working time schedule—from On 15 July , he resigned.

Two weeks later he found employment more amenable to writing when he joined the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia. The job involved investigating and assessing compensation for personal injury to industrial workers; accidents such as lost fingers or limbs were commonplace at this time owing to poor work safety policies at the time.

It was especially true of factories fitted with machine lathes , drills , planing machines and rotary saws which were rarely fitted with safety guards. The management professor Peter Drucker credits Kafka with developing the first civilian hard hat while employed at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute, but this is not supported by any document from his employer. Kafka was rapidly promoted and his duties included processing and investigating compensation claims, writing reports, and handling appeals from businessmen who thought their firms had been placed in too high a risk category, which cost them more in insurance premiums.

The reports were received well by his superiors. Kafka showed a positive attitude at first, dedicating much of his free time to the business, but he later resented the encroachment of this work on his writing time. After seeing a Yiddish theatre troupe perform in October , for the next six months Kafka "immersed himself in Yiddish language and in Yiddish literature". Later he attempted to join the military but was prevented from doing so by medical problems associated with tuberculosis , [56] with which he was diagnosed in According to Brod, Kafka was "tortured" by sexual desire [58] and Kafka's biographer Reiner Stach states that his life was full of "incessant womanising" and that he was filled with a fear of "sexual failure".

On 13 August , Kafka met Felice Bauer , a relative of Brod, who worked in Berlin as a representative of a dictaphone company. A week after the meeting at Brod's home, Kafka wrote in his diary:. When I arrived at Brod's on 13 August, she was sitting at the table. I was not at all curious about who she was, but rather took her for granted at once. Bony, empty face that wore its emptiness openly. A blouse thrown on.

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Looked very domestic in her dress although, as it turned out, she by no means was. I alienate myself from her a little by inspecting her so closely Blonde, somewhat straight, unattractive hair, strong chin. As I was taking my seat I looked at her closely for the first time, by the time I was seated I already had an unshakeable opinion. Kafka and Felice Bauer communicated mostly through letters over the next five years, met occasionally, and were engaged twice. During this time Kafka began a draft of the Letter to His Father , who objected to Julie because of her Zionist beliefs.

Before the date of the intended marriage, he took up with yet another woman.

Das Urteil (Hörbuch ) Franz Kafka

Stach and Brod state that during the time that Kafka knew Felice Bauer, he had an affair with a friend of hers, Margarethe "Grete" Bloch, [70] a Jewish woman from Berlin. Brod says that Bloch gave birth to Kafka's son, although Kafka never knew about the child. The boy, whose name is not known, was born in or and died in Munich in He felt comfortable there and later described this time as perhaps the best time in his life, probably because he had no responsibilities.

He kept diaries and Oktavhefte octavo. From the notes in these books, Kafka extracted numbered pieces of text on Zettel , single pieces of paper in no given order. His letters to her were later published as Briefe an Milena. Kafka, hoping to escape the influence of his family to concentrate on his writing, moved briefly to Berlin and lived with Diamant. She became his lover and caused him to become interested in the Talmud. Kafka feared that people would find him mentally and physically repulsive. However, those who met him found him to possess a quiet and cool demeanor, obvious intelligence, and a dry sense of humour; they also found him boyishly handsome, although of austere appearance.

Although Kafka showed little interest in exercise as a child, he later showed interest in games and physical activity, [33] as a good rider, swimmer, and rower. The tremendous world I have in my head. But how to free myself and free them without ripping apart? And a thousand times rather tear in me they hold back or buried.


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For this I'm here, that's quite clear to me. Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible within himself, though both that indestructible something and his own trust in it may remain permanently concealed from him. Though Kafka never married, he held marriage and children in high esteem.

He had several girlfriends. Fichter of the Psychiatric Clinic, University of Munich , presented "evidence for the hypothesis that the writer Franz Kafka had suffered from an atypical anorexia nervosa ", [98] and that Kafka was not just lonely and depressed but also "occasionally suicidal".

The synthesis of Zionism and socialism did not yet exist". During the communist era, the legacy of Kafka's work for Eastern bloc socialism was hotly debated. Opinions ranged from the notion that he satirised the bureaucratic bungling of a crumbling Austria-Hungarian Empire , to the belief that he embodied the rise of socialism.

While the orthodox position was that Kafka's depictions of alienation were no longer relevant for a society that had supposedly eliminated alienation, a conference held in Liblice , Czechoslovakia, on the eightieth anniversary of his birth, reassessed the importance of Kafka's portrayal of bureaucracy. Kafka grew up in Prague as a German-speaking Jew. His diary is full of references to Yiddish writers. I have hardly anything in common with myself and should stand very quietly in a corner, content that I can breathe".

Hawes suggests that Kafka, though very aware of his own Jewishness , did not incorporate it into his work, which, according to Hawes, lacks Jewish characters, scenes or themes. He stands for the 'guiltless guilt' that imbues the Jew in the modern world, although there is no evidence that he himself is a Jew". In his essay Sadness in Palestine?!

The truth lies in some very elusive place between these two simplistic poles". Livia Rothkirchen calls Kafka the "symbolic figure of his era". According to Rothkirchen, "This situation lent their writings a broad cosmopolitan outlook and a quality of exaltation bordering on transcendental metaphysical contemplation. An illustrious example is Franz Kafka". Towards the end of his life Kafka sent a postcard to his friend Hugo Bergman in Tel Aviv, announcing his intention to emigrate to Palestine. Bergman refused to host Kafka because he had young children and was afraid that Kafka would infect them with tuberculosis.

Kafka's laryngeal tuberculosis worsened and in March he returned from Berlin to Prague, [65] where members of his family, principally his sister Ottla, took care of him. He went to Dr. Hoffmann's sanatorium in Kierling just outside Vienna for treatment on 10 April, [77] and died there on 3 June The cause of death seemed to be starvation: He rose to fame rapidly after his death, [90] particularly after World War II. The Kafka tombstone was designed by architect Leopold Ehrmann.

What little was published during his lifetime attracted scant public attention. Kafka finished none of his full-length novels and burned around 90 percent of his work, [] [] much of it during the period he lived in Berlin with Diamant, who helped him burn the drafts. Kafka's earliest published works were eight stories which appeared in in the first issue of the literary journal Hyperion under the title Betrachtung Contemplation. He wrote the story " Beschreibung eines Kampfes " "Description of a Struggle" [c] in ; he showed it to Brod in who advised him to continue writing and convinced him to submit it to Hyperion.

Kafka published a fragment in [] and two sections in the spring of , all in Munich. In a creative outburst on the night of 22 September , Kafka wrote the story "Das Urteil" "The Judgment", literally: It deals with the troubled relationship of a son and his dominant father, facing a new situation after the son's engagement. The story begins with a travelling salesman waking to find himself transformed into a ungeheures Ungeziefer , a monstrous vermin , Ungeziefer being a general term for unwanted and unclean animals. Critics regard the work as one of the seminal works of fiction of the 20th century.

He began his first novel in ; [] its first chapter is the story " Der Heizer " "The Stoker". During , Kafka began the novel Der Process The Trial , [] the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader. Kafka did not complete the novel, although he finished the final chapter. According to his diary, Kafka was already planning his novel Das Schloss The Castle , by 11 June ; however, he did not begin writing it until 27 January Kafka's intent was that the castle's authorities notify K.

Rastalsky noted in his thesis: Kafka's stories were initially published in literary periodicals. His first eight were printed in in the first issue of the bi-monthly Hyperion. Eine Geschichte von Franz Kafka. A Story by Franz Kafka. On a summer trip to Weimar , Brod initiated a meeting between Kafka and Kurt Wolff; [] Wolff published Betrachtung in the Rowohlt Verlag at the end of with the year given as Kafka left his work, both published and unpublished, to his friend and literary executor Max Brod with explicit instructions that it should be destroyed on Kafka's death; Kafka wrote: Everything I leave behind me International delivery varies by country, please see the Wordery store help page for details.

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