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“Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”

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1 “Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”
Franz Kafka “Not everyone can see the truth, but he can be it.”

2 Short Biography Born in Prague, now in the Czech Republic but then part of Austria. Father was Hermann Kafka, an owner of a large dry goods establishment; mother Julie (Löwy) Kafka, belonged to one of the leading families in the German-speaking, German-cultured Jewish circles of Prague. Hermann Kafka was a tyrant, who directed his anger against his son. Also had three sisters, all of whom perished in Nazi camps. Educated at the German National and Civic Elementary School and the German National Humanistic Gymnasium. In 1901 entered Ferdinand-Karls University, where he studied law and received a doctorate in 1906. About 1904 began writing, making reports on industrial accidents and health hazard in the office by day, and writing stories by night. Had many girlfriends, many affairs, and a number of broken engagements. In 1912 met Felice Bauer, a twenty-four-year-old businesswoman from Berlin. Their relationship lasted for five years.

3 Biography (cont.) In August 1917 contracted tuberculosis and spent ten months with his sister Ottla in the Bohemian village of Zuerau. In 1919 he was hospitalized because of influenza. Kafka spent increasing periods of time on leave in various rural sanatoriums. He fell in love with Milena Jesenská, a twenty-four-year-old writer, who had translated some of his stories into Czech. After they separated she worked as a journalist and became a Resistance hero. Jesenská died in a German concentration camp in 1944. Kafka retired in 1922 on a pension. Next year he met on the Baltic Dora Diamant, a twenty-year old woman from an Orthodox Jewish family. Dora survived Nazi Germany, Stalin's Russia, and World War II. She died in London in 1952. His health rapidly deteriorated. In 1924 Kafka moved with Dora to the Kierling Sanatorium outside Vienna. Died of tuberculosis on June 3, 1924.

4 Themes Alienation Anxiety Loneliness
Family relationships, esp. father/son relationship Isolation Society’s treatment of those who are different

5 Major Works Short Stories Description of a Struggle
Wedding Preparations in the Country The Judgment The Metamorphosis In the Penal Colony The Village Schoolmaster Blumfeld, an Elderly Bachelor A Country Doctor The Hunter Gracchus The Great Wall of China A Report to an Academy The Refusal A Hunger Artist Investigations of a Dog A Little Woman The Burrow Josephine the Singer, or The Mouse Folk Novels The Trial The Castle America

6 Awards & Achievements No Awards. Most of Kafka’s work was published posthumously. His unique body of writing continues to challenge critics, and attempts to classify his work are generally inadequate.

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