2023 Author: Leah Sherlock | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:28
Franz Kafka, whose works are known all over the world, was a German-speaking author of Jewish origin. Oddly enough, the writer, who is now known to the whole world, was not popular during his lifetime and published only a few short stories. Kafka ordered all his literary heritage to be burned, but his friend Max Brod disobeyed, and only thanks to this world was it possible to find out who this mysterious writer was and get acquainted with his works.
Kafka Franz is a famous German writer of Jewish origin. He was born on July 3, 1883 in one of the ghettos of Prague, which at that time was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The writer's father, Herman Kafka, was a Czech-speaking Jew, worked as a salesman in a haberdashery shop, and his mother, Julia Kafka, spoke more German, just like Franz, who nevertheless knew Czech and French well. In the family, apart fromhim, had several other children. The two younger brothers of the future writer died in childhood, but he still had three more sisters. Little Franz went to school until 1893, and then moved to the gymnasium, which he graduated in 1901, receiving a matriculation certificate.
After graduating from the University of Prague, Kafka received a doctorate in law. After that, he worked in the insurance department as a simple official. In 1922, Kafka retired prematurely due to illness. However, during his service in public office, Kafka remained devoted to his main occupation - literature, to which he devoted much of his time. Due to prolonged tuberculosis, which began after a pulmonary hemorrhage, the writer died on June 3, 1924. Before his death, Kafka asked his friend to burn all unpublished manuscripts, but he did not listen to him and therefore many works of the talented author were published posthumously.
Kafka's inner world
It is always difficult to talk about the feelings of a person, especially if he leads a secluded lifestyle. Nevertheless, there is documented evidence about the life of the famous German writer of Jewish origin, concerning not only his biography, but also his views on life. What was Franz Kafka really like? "Letter to Father", one of the writer's works, is, for example, an excellent reflection of the author's relationship with his father and a number of childhood memories.
In many ways for lifeThe writer was influenced by his state of he alth, with which he constantly had problems. It is debatable whether his problems were of a psychosomatic nature, but the fact that the author was plagued by illnesses is undoubted. Vegetarian diet and regular gymnastics - that's how Kafka tried to cope with his condition. Franz drank a lot of unpasteurized cow's milk, which could cause chronic tuberculosis.
It is believed that Kafka's failure on the love front is to some extent due to his relationship with a despotic father, because of which he never managed to become a family man. Nevertheless, women were present in the life of the writer. From 1912 to 1917 he was in a romantic relationship with Felicia Bauer, who lived in Berlin. During this period, they were engaged twice, but both times it did not lead to anything. Kafka and Felicia communicated mainly through correspondence, as a result of which a wrong idea arose in the writer's imagination about the girl, which did not correspond much to reality. From the surviving correspondence it is clear that they were different people who could not find a common language. After that, Kafka was in a relationship with Yulia Vokhrytsek, but this engagement was also soon terminated. In the early 1920s, the writer began an affair with a journalist and translator of his novels, Milena Yesenskaya, who was also married. In 1923, Kafka, along with his muse Dora Dimant, went to Berlin for several months to retire from his family and devote himself entirely to literature.
After visiting Berlin, Kafka returned to Prague again. Gradually, his tuberculosis progressed more and more, giving the writer new problems. This eventually led to the death of Franz in one of the sanatoriums near Vienna, which was probably caused by exhaustion. Persistent sore throat prevented him from eating, and at that time intravenous therapy was in the early stages of development and could not compensate for artificial nutrition. The body of the great German author was transported to Prague, where he was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery.
Franz Kafka. Creativity
The fate of the works of this writer is very unusual. During Kafka's lifetime, his talent remained unrecognized, and only a few of his short stories appeared in print, which were not marked by much success. The author became popular after his death and only because his close friend, Max Brod, disobeyed his will and published novels that Kafka wanted to burn so that no one would ever read them.
Otherwise the world would not know who Kafka is. The novels Brod published soon began to attract worldwide attention. All published works of the author, except for some letters to Milena Yesenskaya, were written in German. To date, they have already been translated into many languages and are known all over the world.
The story "Transformation"
Franz Kafka in this work fully reflected his views on human relationships in his characteristic depressing, oppressive manner. The protagonist of the story is Gregor Samsa, a man who wakes up one morning and realizes that he has turned into a hideous giant insect. Typical for the author are the circumstances of the transformation. Kafka does not indicate the reasons, does not talk about the events that happened before, the main character simply faces the fact that now he is an insect. Surrounding Gregor Samza perceive his new look critically. His father closes him in a room, and his sister, who at first treats him rather warmly compared to others, periodically comes to feed him. Despite his external changes, Gregor remains the same person, his consciousness and his feelings do not change in any way.
Because he was the breadwinner of the family and virtually all relatives depended on Gregor, who was unable to work after his transformation, the family decided to take on boarders. The new tenants of the house behave shamelessly, and the main character's relatives are increasingly critical of him, because now he cannot support them. The sister begins to visit less and less often, and gradually the family forgets about the insect, which was once their relative. The story ends with the death of the protagonist, which in reality caused almost no emotions among his family members. To further emphasize the indifference of the people around him, at the end of the work, the author describes how Gregor Samsa's relatives stroll carelessly.
The manner of writing, habitual for the writer, was fully reflected in the story "Transformation". Franz Kafka plays the roleexclusively as a narrator, he does not seek to reflect his attitude to the events described. In fact, the story is a dry description of events. Characteristic of the writer's style is also the main character, who faces an unfair, sometimes absurd fate. This is the drama of a man who is faced with events with which he is not able to fight. Despite the fantastic plot, the story contains quite realistic details that actually turn the work into a grotesque.
The Trial Novel
Like many other remarkable works of the author, this work was published after the death of the writer. This is a typical Kafka novel, which reflects not only elements of the absurd, but also fantasy with realism. Harmoniously intertwined, all this gives rise to a philosophical story, which became a reflection of the author's creative search.
It is not known exactly what principle the writer was guided by when creating the "Process", but the manuscript was not formed into a full-fledged work, it consisted of many scattered chapters. Later they were arranged according to the chronology of events, and in this form the world saw the work that Kafka created.
"The Trial" tells the story of a man named Josef K., who works as a simple clerk in a bank. One morning he was arrested by unknown people without giving a reason. He is being watched for a long time, but no one takes measures to detain him.
The most surprising thing here is that Josef K. has no idea whathe is suspected, and of what he is accused, since nothing was presented to him. Throughout the work, he is forced to try to understand the reason for the arrest. However, he does not succeed even when the accused is sentenced to death and immediately killed with a blow to the heart, "like a dog." The protagonist, alone in his struggle, fails to get the truth.
This is another novel by the writer with many plot elements of the absurd, which Franz Kafka used very often. "The Castle" is a work that tells about the life of a certain K., who came to the Village to work as a surveyor. When he arrives, he learns that everything here is controlled by the Castle, and in order to start work or even get there, he must obtain permission.
K. tries in every possible way to get permission, but he can't do anything. As a result, it turns out that the Village does not need a surveyor, and K. is offered a position as a watchman. The protagonist agrees as he has no choice. The novel breaks off at the visit of K. the charioteer. According to the writer's plan, K. was supposed to stay here forever, and before his death he would have received a message that his residence in the Village was illegal, but now the Castle allows him to live and work here. But he told his friend that he was stopping work on the novel and did not intend to return to it.
In addition to the above works, the author has many less popular ones. For example, there are severalcollections of short stories that Franz Kafka started with. "Letters to Milena" is one of the examples of the writer's epistolary lyrics. This is a collection that contains letters addressed to one of his lovers - Milena Yesinskaya, who was originally just a translator of his works into Czech. As a result, the writer and Milena began a pen pal romance that greatly influenced Kafka, but made him even more unhappy than he was before him, after it turned out that their characters were incompatible.
This is not the only collection authored by Kafka. Franz published only his stories during his lifetime, which did not bring him such popularity as the novels recognized posthumously, but they are no less remarkable and valuable from a literary point of view. Therefore, they should also be mentioned. What else remarkable did Franz Kafka create? "Labyrinth" is a collection of short stories that includes a work of the same name and a number of others, the most famous of which is "Studies of a Dog".
Absurdity and realism, reality and fantasy… It would seem that these are all incompatible concepts, but the author manages to organically connect elements of different styles and genres. A master of words, a genius who was not recognized during his lifetime, and after his death became popular all over the world - all this is Kafka. Franz has become a kind of symbol of the era, the voice of humanity, preaching loneliness.
His characters are similar: they face problems that cannot be solved and find themselves face to face with fate.
Tragicand comedy take on the form of the grotesque in Kafka's fantastic plots. He does not seek to show a hero or an outstanding person, the writer tells about a person's fear of something higher, of the outside world, which depends only on circumstances. The main characters of Kafka are people who find themselves in difficult life circumstances that are beyond their control and can hardly be resolved. All this gives rise to their insecurity, loneliness and fear - all that constantly surrounds people, driving them into a state of anxiety.
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