Kafka, Franz

(1883–1924)
   Writer. Kafka was born in Prague on 3 July 1883. The fact that he was brought up among Czechs as a German-speaking Jew may have contributed to a feeling of alienation, reinforced by a domineering father and chronic ill-health. Kafka studied law at the German University in Prague, without any particular inclination for the subject, and obtained his doctorate in 1906. He then took up a permanent job, first in a law office and later in an insurance company, and his work permitted him to write only in his spare time. Despite this limitation and frequent bouts of insomnia and migraine, he wrote obsessively, and published a number of novels and collections of short stories and sketches. He never married, having broken off an abortive engagement in 1914. In 1917, he was found to have contracted tuberculosis, and was in and out of sanitoria for the rest of his life. His friend Max Brod, to whom his manuscripts were entrusted, published them posthumously, ignoring the author’s dying request to have them burnt.
   The themes of metaphysical confusion and human despair permeate such major works as The Trial (Ger. 1925; Eng. 1937), The Castle (Ger. 1916; Eng. 1930) and America (Ger. 1927; Eng. 1938). The protagonist’s unceasing quest for identity is a futile one; no explanation is given or even possible. Gregor Samsa, in Metamorphosis, is transformed into an insect in his sleep; how, why, what the change means, are questions left unanswered. In The Trial, Joseph K. is arrested for an unnamed crime and arraigned before a mysterious ‘Kafkaesque’ tribunal. Kafka had an enormous influence on the next generation of intellectuals, who could find no coherent meaning in life and took refuge in existentialism and the cult of the absurd.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KAFKA, FRANZ — (1883–1924), Czech born German novelist, whose work has had an enormous impact on western art and literature. Kafka, who was born and raised in Prague, studied law at the German University there. He worked in a law office and then for an… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Kafka, Franz — born July 3, 1883, Prague, Bohemia, Austria Hungary died June 3, 1924, Kierling, near Vienna, Austria Czech writer who wrote in German. Born into a middle class Jewish family, he earned a doctorate and then worked successfully but unhappily at a… …   Universalium

  • Kafka, Franz — (1883 1924)    by John Marks   In Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, Deleuze and Guattari seek to overturn much of the received critical wisdom on Franz Kafka s work by presenting him as a joyful and comic writer, who is positively engaged in the… …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Kafka, Franz — (1883 1924)    by John Marks   In Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature, Deleuze and Guattari seek to overturn much of the received critical wisdom on Franz Kafka s work by presenting him as a joyful and comic writer, who is positively engaged in the… …   The Deleuze dictionary

  • Kafka, Franz — ► (1883 1924) Escritor checo. Sus obras reflejan la angustia del hombre inmerso en un mundo paradójicamente impenetrable. Es autor de novelas cortas, cuentos y novelas, entre las que cabe mencionar: La metamorfosis (1915), donde plantea el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kafka, Franz — (1883 1924)    German novelist of Czech origin. He was born in Prague and worked in a law office and then an insurance company, pursuing his writing in his spare time. His short stories (including Metamorphosis) were published in his lifetime. At …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Kafka,Franz — Kaf·ka (käfʹkə, kä), Franz. 1883 1924. Austrian writer whose stories, such as “The Metamorphosis” (1916), and novels, including The Trial (1925) and The Castle (1926), concern troubled individuals in a nightmarishly impersonal world. * * * …   Universalium

  • Kafka, Franz —    см. Кафка, Франц …   Энциклопедический словарь экспрессионизма

  • Kafka — Kafka, Franz …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Franz Kafka — (um 1906) Franz Kafka (* 3. Juli 1883 in Prag, damals Österreich Ungarn; † 3. Juni 1924 in Kierling – heute Stadtteil von Klosterneuburg –, Österreich; selten auch tschechisch František Kafka) war ein deutschsprachige …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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