Prominent representative of the Prague group of German writers. The surname is translated from Czech as “jackdaw”. Born in Prague in a bourgeois Jewish family. After graduating from Prague University, becoming a lawyer, Kafka was forced to turn into an insurance official in order to earn a living.
In 1909, his first story appeared in print, and four years later the collection of short stories “Observation” was paperhelp published. The second collection of stories “The Country Doctor” and the third - “The Hunger” —that is all that came to light during the life of Kafka.
A small literary circle was formed in Prague where young people could find grateful listeners in each other. Among them was Max Brod - a man who admired Kafka, considered him a genius, constantly stimulated creativity and helped to publish. Although only a very narrow circle of professionals knew about the fruits of his work, who were also distinguished by a wide range of views and a subtle artistic taste, Kafka in 1915 was awarded one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Germany - the Fontane Prize.
Visiting Brod, he found a guest from Berlin Feliyu Bauer. A month later, he begins a long, long romance with her in letters. The beginning of this novel is marked by a creative surge. For one night he writes the story “The Sentence." Three months later, Franz proposes to Felice. Soon the engagement is dissolved. And after three years, they suddenly find themselves engaged again. However, a month after the second engagement took place, Kafka has pulmonary hemorrhage. Tuberculosis was an excuse for breaking the second engagement. Now Felitsa is gone forever.
Four years before his death, the seriously ill Kafka had another attempt to connect his fate with a woman - Julia Vokhrytsek. As soon as the future spouses learned that they could not count on the apartment they had looked after, they immediately went back down.
Dying, Kafka bequeathed to his friend and executor Max Broad - the Prague publisher and writer - to destroy all unpublished manuscripts, but Brod violated Kafka's will and already in 1925-1926. published three of his unfinished novels: America, The Process, and The Castle, and in 1931 a collection of short stories entitled On the Construction of the Chinese Wall. In these works, pictures were prophetically painted of the coming society, which fell under the heel of the National Socialists.
Kafka described future concentration camps, the absolute lack of rights of people turned into little cogs of a gigantic totalitarianism machine devoid of any spirituality.
Kafka's creativity had a strong influence on many famous European and American writers of the 20th century. - T. Mann, A. Camus, J.-P. Sartre, M. Frisch, F. Durrenmatt. Kafka’s diary, which he kept at the age of 27, constantly reveals the theme of suicide. True, this did not come to that, but with the prediction of the time of his own death - “I will not live up to 40 years” - Kafka almost did not make a mistake.
He died in Kirling, near Vienna.