Biography of Kafka, the great writer of the twentieth century

Franz Kafka was a writer who explored human struggles for understanding and security in novels such as America, The Court, and The Castle.

Franz Kafka was born on July 3, 1883 in Prague. He was a writer who grew up in upper-middle-class Jewish families. After studying law at the University of Prague, he worked for the insurance company during the day and then wrote at night. In 1923 he moved to Berlin to focus on writing but died shortly afterwards of tuberculosis. His friend Max Brod published most of his work after his death. Among those works, we can mention America and the castle.

Early years

Franz Kafka was the eldest son of a Jewish family and was born in the capital of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The early years of his life were a real tragedy. Kafka’s two younger brothers died in infancy when Franz was six, and he became the only son in the family. A few years later, three of his other sisters died in Nazi concentration camps.

Franz Kafka had many problems with his parents.

His mother, Julie, was a housewife who understood nothing of her son’s deep thinking and understanding of his dreams of becoming a writer. His father, Herman, was also a bully and often presided over the house. Of course, she was successful in business and made a living selling men’s and women’s clothing.

Kafka’s father had a profound effect on his life and writing. In some ways, he was considered a tyrant and had a bad temper. In addition, he valued his son’s creative aspect very little. Many of Kafka’s personal struggles in emotional and social relationships, he believes, stemmed from his complex relationship with his father. In his literature, too, Kafka’s characters were often confronted with a dominant force in some way. This force often simply broke the will of men and took away their sense of self-confidence.

Kafka seems to have derived most of his values ​​directly from his family, especially his father. He spent most of his adult life with his parents.


Kafka’s first language was German. In fact, despite his Czech and Jewish origins, Kafka’s identity valued German culture. He was an intelligent child and he was satisfactory at school. Although he was respected by his teachers, he did not feel comfortable that his life was under the control of the school and them. After high school, Kafka went to Charles Ferdinand University in Prague and initially enrolled in chemistry, but two weeks later changed his major to law. This change was to his father’s liking, and also gave Kafka time to attend art and literature classes. In 1906 he obtained a law degree and worked as a legal secretary for one year without income.

working life

After completing his apprenticeship in late 1907, Kafka found work at an Italian insurance agency. This was not suitable for him from the beginning because it forced him to work according to a boring schedule and left him little time to write. He lasted less than a year at the agency and soon after resigning found a new job at a workers’ accident insurance institute. This job and his employers were more suitable for Kafka than anything else, and he worked hard and became the right hand of his boss. He worked for the company until 1917, when he contracted tuberculosis in 1922 and was forced to retire early.

Love and health

Kafka was an exemplary employee in his work and could be easily contacted and was often known for his humor; But his personal life was full of various conflicts. His selfishness and insecurity invaded his relationships. She twice got engaged to marry someone she loved, but the two eventually parted ways in 1917.

Later, Kafka became interested in Dora Diamant

, and the two shared Jewish roots and an interest in socialism. Amid Kafka’s growing illness, the two fell in love and lived together in Berlin. Their relationship revolved mostly around Kafka’s diseases. Even before he started having tuberculosis, he had health problems. His problems include migraines, depression, anxiety and insomnia.

Kafka and Dora eventually returned to Prague. Kafka traveled to Vienna for tuberculosis treatment while being treated for tuberculosis. He died on June 3, 1924. His body was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery in Prague with his parents.


Although Kafka worked hard to make a living, he also devoted himself to writing. One of his old friends, Max Broad, played an important role in advancing his literary career, and his role continued long after Kafka’s death. Kafka’s fame as a writer came only after his death. During his lifetime he published a limited part of the totality of his work.

His most famous and best-selling short story was Metamorphosis, which ended in 1912 and was published three years later. The story takes place in Kafka’s third-floor room, which has a direct view of the Vltava River and its bridge. He later published Mediation, a collection of short stories, and wrote “Before the Law” and the novel “The Court.”

He continued to write, even in critical condition. In 1916 he completed a “judgment” that spoke directly of his relationship with his father. His later works include “In Exile” and “A Rural Physician”, both of which were completed in 1919.

In 1924, the sick but busy Kafka completed the book The Hunger Artist, which contained four stories in a clear and simple style. This writing style was one of the hallmarks of his style at the end of his life; But Kafka, who was still living with the animals in his mind and always had inner doubts, was reluctant to publish his work. He asked his friend Max, who was also his literary presenter, to destroy all his unpublished manuscripts.

Fortunately, Broud did not follow his friend’s wishes, and in 1924 published The Court, a black, paranoid novel and the author’s most successful work. The story of this novel revolves around a character named “Joseph K.” He is forced to defend himself against an unhealthy court system for a crime that was never revealed to him and the reader. The following year, Broud published “The Castle,” a protest against the faceless bureaucracy. In this novel, the protagonist, whom the reader only knows as “Kay”, tries to meet the mysterious officials who rule his village.

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In 1927, the novel “America” ​​was published. The story of this novel also revolves around the life of a boy named “Carl Rosman” who was sent to America by his family. During this journey, his innocence and simplicity are abused wherever he travels.


At the time of his death, Kafka was incredibly well known only to a small group of singers. It was only after his death that he went to the aid of his friend Max, who acted against his will, his works were published and he became famous. His books became very popular, especially during World War II, and had a profound effect on German literature.

When the 1960s took shape and Eastern Europe was ruled by bureaucratic communist governments, Kafka’s writings were more relevant to the audience than ever before. As a result, Kafka’s stories about humans and faceless organizations were completely alive and well, and even led to the creation of a new word called Kafkaesque.

Franz Kafka at a glance

Franz Kafka was born on July 3, 1883, into a German-speaking Jewish family.
He lost his two younger brothers at the age of six.
His three sisters also died in Nazi concentration camps.
He did not have a good relationship with his parents, and especially the problems he had with his father throughout his life and work.
He studied law, but in his spare time he always wrote and attended art and literature classes.
He had a humorous and social spirit, but in his emotional relationship he was always involved in internal conflicts.
Apart from the various illnesses that plagued him, Kafka contracted tuberculosis and died in 1924.

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