Franz Kafka 1883-1924 Born in Prague, Czech Republic Jewish, middle class Doctor of Law No literary attention until after his death Died of tuberculosis at age of 40 Works published posthumously
Kafka Influenced by Socialism Yiddish ( Jewish ) literature Talmud ( Jewish mystical teachings) Existentialism leanings Transcendental metaphysical contemplation
Existentialism a sense of disorientation & confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world. the individual is solely responsible for giving his own life meaning and to be done passionately and sincerely despite of existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, & boredom emphasis is the individual about what constitutes a: fulfilling life achievements obstacles to overcome what external and internal factors are involved includes the potential consequences of the existence ] or non-existence of God. [ [
Transcendental metaphysical contemplation reality, or reality as we can know it, is mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses the mind shapes the world we perceive into the form of space-and- time.
Now back to Kafka Some believe he had schizoid personality disorder Speculations regarding his sexual preferences Anorexia? Wrote in German Never finished any of his full length novels Known to start in middle or last page of note book & write in a random order
Characteristics of his work Ambiguous words/terms Hopelessness or absurdity Magical realism Metaphysical quest for God ( Talmud/ Zohar) Surrealist humor People invent their own struggles
Famous for The Metamorphosis The Trial The Castle It’s about a man who wakes up and finds he is changed into a beetle, and how his family reacts to his change. It’s an allegorical short novel about how society view illness, elderly, or societal expectations.
Literary mystery: Missing writings 20 notebooks & 35 letters to last GF Kafka Project San Diego State university It began in 1998 is an official international search for his lost writings confiscated by Gestapo in Berlin in 1933 2003 they found 3 letters 2010 found a short story