BIOGRAPHY OF FRANZ KAFKA
Czech Writer in the German language whose work marks the beginning of the profound renovation that the European novel would experience in the first decades of the TWENTIETH century. Franz Kafka definitively left behind nineteenth realism by converting his narratives into parables of turban and inexhaustible symbolic richness: starring anti–Heroes in an incomprehensible world, his novels reflect a reality in Recognizable and everyday appearance, but subjected to disturbing mutations that immerse the reader in an oppressive and suffocating nightmare, capturing the anxieties and uncertainties that seize the contemporary man.
Born into a family of Jewish traders, Franz Kafka was formed in a German cultural environment. His father, Hermann Kafka, had obtained a comfortable position with an advantageous marriage and was able to afford a good training for the firstborn in one of the German schools in Prague. After Completing the Baccalaureate (1901), the head of the family forced him to study law, a matter for which he never felt the slightest interest, and he became a doctor in law at 1906.
The University years left him time to cultivate his philosophical and literary hobbies; He read numerous authors and met the future writer and literary critic Max Brod, with whom he intimated a close friendship destined to endure a lifetime. The energetic and active personality of Brod, totally opposed to that of the fearful and introverted Kafka, mitigateded his loneliness and his marked tendency to isolation.
After Completing His studies, he worked in several law firms and, from 1908, in a Prague insurance company. There he performs his tasks with efficiency and punctuality, coming to deserve a promotion; However, he lacked full professional ambition. The Dull job (which he would not leave definitively until 1920, because of his deteriorated health) occupied him only the mornings and could dedicate the evenings and the nights to the literature, his true passion.
In 1911 he met Yitzchak Lowy, a Yiddish theatre actor; Soon he began to be interested in Jewish mysticism and religion, which exerted on him a notable influence and favored his adherence to Zionism. His project to emigrate to Palestine was frustrated in 1917 when he suffered the first symptoms of tuberculosis, which would cause his death. The diagnosis decided Kafka to definitively break his marriage commitment to Felice Bauer, whom he had met in 1912 through Max Brod. During The five years that lasted, the relationship with Felice had been repeatedly abandoned and retaken because of Kafka’s interminable hesitations.
The disease forced Kafka to spend long periods in various sanatoriums, first in the Italian Alps and finally in Kierling, near Vienna. In One of them he fell in love with the young Czech Julie Wohryzek, but the radical opposition of Kafka’s father precluded marriage. This episode originated the most revealing document of that conflicting paternofilial relationship: The famous Letter to the father that Kafka wrote in 1919. Published posthumously, it never came to be sent to its recipient.
In 1920, the meeting with the Czech translator and journalist Milena Jesenská was transformed into a deep relationship, witnessed in the Letters to Milena, which would see the light in 1952. But neither Kafka nor Milena herself, married to another man, had the necessary breath to break the marriage, and from 1921 they began to distance themselves. It Was then established in a farmhouse acquired by its sister, in which it wrote The Castle. In 1923, with the disease already very advanced, it met the young and vital Dora Diamant, the great love which it had always yearned for, and which gave him briefly the hope. But in April of the following year his ailments worsened; In the company of Dora Diamant, his friend Max Brod and his uncle Siegfried, he died on June 3, 1924 in the sanatorium of Kierling.
Despite the illness, his family’s manifest hostility to his literary vocation, his five frustrated marriage attempts and his employment as a bureaucrat in a Prague insurance company, Franz Kafka devoted himself intensely to literature. His work, which has come to us against his express will (he ordered his close friend and literary adviser Max Brod to burn all his manuscripts after his death), constitutes one of the summits of German literature and is counted among the most influential and innovative Of the TWENTIETH century.
In the line of the Prague School, of which he is the most outstanding member, Kafka’s writing is characterized by a strong metaphysical vocation and a synthesis of absurdity, irony and lucidity. This World of Dreams, which paradoxically describes with a thorough realism, is already present in his first short novel, Description of a struggle, which begins with a dance lesson in Prague, very soon moves the hero to Japan and puts him in the center of Savages Spiritual Adventures; Fragments of this story were published in 1909 in the journal Hyperion, directed by Franz Blei.
He published his first book in 1913
In 1913, the publisher Rowohlt agreed to publish its first book, Meditations, small fragments in prose of a penetrating spiritual restlessness and a deeply innovative style, at the same time lyrical, dramatic and melodious. The texts were in fact excerpts from his personal diary: at the behest of his friend Max Brod, Kafka selected a series of passages of the Newspaper which it had initiated in 1910 and which it would continue, almost without interruptions, until the same year of its death. The book went unnoticed; The following would not be successful either, outside an intimate circle of unconditional friends and admirers.
The outbreak of the First World War and the end of the courtship with Felice Bauer marked the beginning of a prolific creative stage in which he wrote the most characteristic works of his production. Its legacy, which poses numerous difficulties of interpretation, is characterized in contrast by an extreme and deliberate stylistic clarity, as it is observed in the best known of its narrations, The Metamorphosis (1915). Its protagonist is a mediocre commercial traveler, Gregorio Samsa; One morning, on waking, Samsa discovers that he has become a huge insect, which is narrated with normalcy despite the monstrosity of the situation. This double game will be a constant in the author’s creation, and in it it resides to a large extent its singularity and effectiveness.
Dies in 1924
Kafka died of tuberculosis on June 3, 1924 in Klosterneuburg, a Autriaca city. At the request of the writer, all his works and manuscripts were To be burned after his death; But Max Brod, his great friend, disregardeded the will and published Kafka’s work-sometimes also completing the unfinished stories.