Biography of Franz Kafka (1883-1924)

Franz Kafka.

Czech Narrator in German language, born in Prague on July 3, 1883 and died in Kierling (near Klostenburg) on June 3, 1924. Despite its brief existence - he/she died without having reached the forty-one years of age-, a fruitful, intense and disturbing literary legacy left that dump obsessively about some of the problems of consciousness that they trouble the human being (as the guilt and punishment), it turns him into one of the best exponents of the Existentialist current that dominated the letters and arts Western during much of the 20th century.

Historical, ethnic and cultural context.

With respect to the complications that usually raises the nationality of Kafka at the beginning of the 21st century, when borders political and geographical of most of the territories of Central and Eastern Europe have nothing to do with the drawn on maps from the end of the 19th century, should start by remembering - to fully locate the author of metamorphosis in their historical and cultural environment - that, at the time of his coming into the world, Prague was still the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Bohemia, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and, more specifically, one of the two States in which it had articulated from 1867: the Cisleithania (origin of the current Austria), in which were included, besides the mentioned Kingdom of Bohemia, the territories of Moravia, Dalmatia, Galicia, Bukovina and Austria (the other State was that of the Transleithania, occupied mostly by the contemporary Hungary). It would be correct, then, refer to the writer of Prague with the adjective of "Bohemian", or more correctly yet, "Austro-Hungarian", although it is nowadays regarded Czech because, after the first world war and the subsequent and final dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Franz Kafka lived his last years of existence as a citizen of the newly created Czechoslovak Republic, whose capital was located in the city where he/she was born and died the author of the process.

Moreover, the political and cultural circumstances that thinned the Prague writer immediate environment (division among the Slavic peoples of the North and the South; rise of nationalist consciousness; recrudescence of the secular inquinas between Czechs and Germans; and, among other major historical events, emergence of the first republics inspired by Marxist ideology) were but a mere anecdote - in the life of the writer regards - with respect to the ethno-religious circumstances that marked him deeply since his arrival in the world, struck at the heart of a Jewish family. In the late 19th century Prague, real melting pot of ethnicities, languages, historical nationalities and religious beliefs, the Jews were a minority group - though not for this reduced - next to the large population of Czech, and divided further between supporters or not of an incipient panjudaismo that then it would be interpreted as one of the more solid foundations of the future Zionist movement. Other well defined minorities within the capital of Bohemia (as set up by Croats and Hungarians) were not so devoid of its referents nationalist as formed by the Jews, who, victims of an increasingly implanted anti-Semitism among new generations of Czech, were despised by them due to their preservation of the German language and other Germanic cultural inheritances that were in free kick against impetuous thrust of Slavic culture. The difficult situation in which the population of Hebrew origin he/she was in Prague has been well described by one of the modern editors of the process, Isabel Hernández, who claims that "for young Czechs were Germans and the Germans were Jews. His condition was everlasting and eternal strangers guilty in a no man's land increasingly uninhabitable and small"(vid., infra,"Bibliography").

Uproot it, therefore it was inherent in the young Kafka from his first cultural concerns of adolescence, when he/she warned that membership of a deeply secularized and culturally attached to the decadent influence of German Jewish Middle class placed you in the crosshairs of the emergent Czech nationalism; and, at the same time, this feeling of strangeness and relocation is accentuated in the future writer to assume neither belonged squarely to German culture, as even the language that used to be understood with yours was the official German. Indeed, Franz Kafka - as most of the Jewish Prague of his time spoke familiarly mauscheldeutsch, a variety of the German language resulting from the combination of the official German and Central European Jews, characteristic of the Hebrew population Prague variety yiddisch and unintelligible to all other citizens speaking. So, on one scale more inside its vertiginous process of loss of identity, when put to write there was also dispense with this everyday language to German policy, devoid of mixtures and ethno-religious impurities, in whose employment a pristine correction let always patent.

It must be noted, finally, that neither his ancestry and Hebrew affiliation served to find a few references solids of deeply rooted among the people of his own religious confession, because, as already noted above, the social sector to which belonged - the middle class Jewish - was deeply secularized for many years and not living their spiritual concerns with the same intensity with which were reflected in other Hebrew communities. In fact, Judaism in Kafka not gained a certain importance until the last period of his life, when the Bohemian author seemed to adhere to an international offer of hebrewism which, beyond the mere religious dogma and life patterns derived from it, aspired to model an intellectual, artistic, cultural, and linguistic unity among Jews around the world. In the words of the scholar of his work cited, "Kafka showed interest and sympathy towards the Jewish world and a socializing Zionist project in a late period of his life. Although he/she lived in an intellectual milieu that was practically a Jewish ghetto, isolated from the Czechs for their German linguistic and cultural condition, and the Germans by their Jewish status, began to get interested in Jewish culture very late (1911-1912) through contact with a group of theatre yiddisch. Between 1917 and 1918 he/she studied to Kierkegaard, which shows his growing interest in various aspects of Judaism; in 1918 began studying Hebrew and Jewish mystical"(op. cit.).


Born in a family of merchants who had busily worked to achieve a moderate economic and social stability, he/she was the eldest of six brothers who survived only four, now that two children who followed him (Heinrich and Georg) died at an early age. Soon became, therefore, as the only son in a family of three sisters, mother and father,-which in part gave rise to the difficult relationship with his father which, many years later, was the subject of literary treatment by the writer in Brief an der Vater (letter to father, 1919). Received, the cradle, the Hebrew name of Amschel in memory of his mother's maternal grandfather, a woman belonging to a family from the South of Bohemia and characterized by their strong Hebrew tradition, in which shone several ancestors by their culture, their piety and their relevance within the Jewish community.

The Kafka family lived at that time in the old part of Prague, who lives in an old House that had been built in medieval times, and whose back was to the Town Hall of the Bohemian capital. The business run by the father of the future writer was a shop which sold haberdashery (such as cotton, threads, buttons) and what are today called "plug-ins" (umbrella, umbrellas, canes, etc.), genre that forced their parents to travel frequently, forced to go in search of the goods then ate. With the passage of time, this small trade with the help of his wife's family was greatly developed by the father of the future writer, who, along with his remarkable commercial ability and its accredited work capacity, showed a singular determination that your child be prepared from his early childhood to achieve, Maggiore, an advantageous job in the public administration of the Kingdom. Of ahi que, at the end of a few primary studies that had started in 1889 in an elementary school in the Fleischmarktgasse Street, the young Franz was sent by his father to the Institute German of the Altstädter Ring, located in the Palacio Kinsky, a beautiful Baroque building sita in the part of old Prague and next, hence the home of the family Kafka. Occupied, for the most part, by Jewish students in the classrooms of this center of education media formed almost all future officials of the Bohemian monarchy, who received a careful education based on the in-depth knowledge not only of German language and culture, but also the best Greco-Roman classical tradition.

In 1893, date in which entered the young Franz at the centro de estudios, already had come to the world his three sisters - Elli (1889), (1890) Valli and Ottla (1892), which maintained a splendid fraternal relationship throughout his life. During the remainder of the Decade of the 1990s, the German Institute, the future writer had the opportunity to read and study some of the great Austro authors that would trace in it a honda, as Heinrich Von Kleits, Franz Grillparzer , and Adalbert Stifter. At the same time, he/she had the opportunity to attend classes of some illustrious professors like Oskar Pollak, a prominent art historian who was the first to awaken the humanistic vocation of the young Franz. Meanwhile, the prosperity of the family business was increasing, as it was well reflected in the transfer of the Kafka to a residence better, sita now in the street Zeltner.

Studies of the Prague writer had its inception in 1901, when, after having brilliantly overcome the revalidation of high school, he/she enrolled at the University of Prague to pursue a career in chemistry, in which did not last more than two weeks. Pushed by the wishes of his father - who remained stubborn in making his only son a high civil servant-then went to the classrooms of the Faculty of law, where neither showed signs of enthusiasm on capable of putting the legal matter to her already accused literary vocation. So things, in the summer of 1902 took the holiday hiatus to focus on the study of certain subjects that have highlighted their concerns artistic and literary, as Flemish painting, Christian sculpture and German literature. But also willing to fulfill the father's will, he/she soon after returned to the classrooms of the Faculty of law and devoted himself to studying with apathy a career which, although not filled in any way their vocational, and cultural expectations at least not too kept you parallel to the creative writing dedication.

It was during that fruitful year of 1902 when, a still young and susceptible Kafka, he/she met one of the figures that would prove decisive in shaping his personality and, above all, in the preservation and dissemination of his literary work: the writer Max Brod (1884-1968), who shared with him an intimate relationship of friendship and intellectual exchangeencouraged him at all times to keep writing and to publish their literary texts and, once dead Kafka, disobeyed his second season will refuse to fire his friend unpublished works, as this had been entrusted to him by way of a drastic testamentary disposition. Brod, who shared the classrooms of the Faculty of law with the Prague writer, attended during that intense student both to the disenchantment of Kafka to the socialist ideology that came to fascinate him since the age of sixteen, and to its progressive absorption in a rich, protein and tortuous inner universe where loss of collective illusions is generated, at the same time, a suitable environment for the flourishing of its unique and very personal literary production.

Over the years they began to share readings and experiences with Max Brod, Kafka remained fascinated by the Magisterium's Oskar Pollak, who advised him to read some of the most influential literary magazines in the German cultural scene of those first bars of the 20th century, such as Der Kunstwart and Die neue Rundschau. Laws increasingly tedious classes powerfully influenced the concentration of the young Franz in the writing of his first literary text, Beschreibung eines Kampfes (description of a struggle, 1904), which soon followed as telling new stories already of his immense narrative talent as Der Ausflug ins Gebirge (excursion to the mountain, 1905) and Kinder auf der Landstraße (children on the road1905). But recent law courses were an immense effort for those who did not have much interest in approving them, so at the beginning of the summer of 1905 was forced to leave for some time the student rooms and the literary Cenacle of Prague to take refuge in a discreet sanatorium in Zuckmantel, a bucolic rural population where - according to let capturedtwo years later, in Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande (preparations for wedding in the field, 1907)-, lived his first love affair.

Back in his native Prague, he/she returned to engage in studies of laws to deal with final exams, which came out gracefully to receive, on June 18, 1906, the title of Doctor in law. Once in possession of this precious official document, decided to enter fully into the administration of the Kingdom, but not for the reasons of well-being and security that has always had alleged his father, but looking for two objectives that will enable him urgent and essential in that period of his life: having a job that would allow her to emancipation from the family home, and exercise at the same time a comfortable and fanciful job that would let him plenty of free time for the deployment of its already for that then intense creative activity. It was as well as from October 1906, he/she made a first year of practice in the courts to end up accepting, just at the end of a year, a post of Assistant administrative in a company of insurance (Assicurazioni Generali). Obsessed, at the same time, not only for her literary vocation, but for the knowledge of the life and work of the great European authors of past eras, he/she studied in depth during those years of 1906 and 1907 various biographical documents of some writers as notable as Johann von Goethe, Christian Grabbe, Christian Hebbel, Henri Amiel, Lord Byron and the aforementioned Franz Grillparzer.

But his attempt to remove the workday much free time for writing was braking at the offices of Assicurazioni Generali, where the accumulation of work prevented him from drafting a single line for an entire year. Hence, in 1908 to leave this company for, without leaving the labor sector, a position of legal advisor at the company's insurance of accidents of work of United Bohemia, where he/she was developing a discrete internal promotion that put of manifest their conformity - now-with a job that let him free evenings (was admitted first as a casual workerlater elevated to intern with category of official, promoted to Deputy Secretary in 1913 and in 1922, finally appointed Secretary, who just had occasion to hold, thus prematurely retired for health reasons in the course of that year).

Achieved, therefore its intention to ensure the time needed to write from a comfortable post bureaucratic, in 1910 began his then famous diaries (Tagebucher), at the time undergoing a rebirth of these concerns socio-political that had shaken him during his adolescence, and that now led him to join the Klub Mladých, a revolutionary collective in which, among other dreamHe protested angrily against the implementation in Spain of Francisco Ferrer (1859-1909), the great anarchist pedagogue who had founded the Escuela Moderna (unjustly accused of being one of the instigators of the violent events of the Semana Trágica). By that time also began to take genuine awareness of being a Jew and, after attending in 1911 to the functions of the theatrical language yiddisch stagings by the collective Lamberg, irrupted with his father - always committed to guide you along the path of tradition German - and began studying the Hebrew language and literature written in yiddisch.

At the same time, Franz Kafka began to be known and respected by his first literary writings, and to be received in the main intellectual and artistic forums of Prague, where had the opportunity to meet some of the most remarkable of the universal culture of the moment, as the mathematical Kowalewski and the physical Ehrenfels and Einstein, which exchanged points of view in the halls of Berta Fantaa rich Lady of high society Prague which was pleased to meet in his house the cream of European art, letters, science and thought. He/She heard talk there of the newest scientific postulates in his time, as the theory of the relativity of the aforementioned Einstein, Max Plank quantum theory and the proposals of Freudian psychoanalysis; and certainly made contact with some of the so-called young authors to become very soon in the most notable figures of the Czech literary avant-garde, as Frána Srámek, Stanislav Kostka Neumann and - among others - Jaroslav has? ek, the future author of the adventures of the brave soldier Schwejk (1920), at that time well known in Prague by founded in 1911 a grotesque "progress party moderate in the scope of the law"Ironically put at the service of the dying Austro-Hungarian Empire.

It was also during this fruitful period prior to World War I when Franz Kafka made his first trips abroad, almost always accompanied by his inseparable friend, Max Brod, who visited Italy in 1909, Paris in 1910, again the North of Italy and the gala capital in 1911 (to stay then it only for a week, at the sanatorium of Erlenbachnear Zurich), and Weimar in 1912 (journey which led him, at the end, up to the residence naturalist Jungborn, in the Harz, where he/she received medical treatment for three weeks). Returning to Prague, decided to make a titanic effort that convinced all those who surrounded you - starting with himself - her worth as a writer, effort that emerged some of his best works (such as the condemnation and metamorphosis) and interesting fragments of others (such as America, the process and the Castle).

On August 13, 1912, in the House of his friend Max Brod, met the woman who would star in her first love affair worthy of consideration, Felice Bauer, which held a stormy courtship (with official presentation to the family he/she and proposal of marriage including) interrupted in September 1913 by the doubts of the writer. The own Kafka judged unable to offer a marriage worth to Felice without abandoning his literary vocation, so so, put in trance between life and literature, it opted for this last and, after the break, he/she undertook a long journey to the North of Italy, where had a fluid correspondence with his ex-girlfriend (which came to exchange more than 500 letters). So things, during the spring of 1914, already again in Prague, came the reconciliation between the two, in good part thanks to the courageous initiative of Felice Bauer, who left his home in Berlin to rent an apartment in Prague. But only two months later, Franz Kafka returned to break the commitment, coinciding with the outbreak of the war conflagration in Sarajevo and, on a personal level, with the need to finally abandon the family home (because one of his sisters had to settle there, with their two small children, because of the war). Forced, therefore in some way by the circumstances, until the thirty-one year old Kafka did not of face to face with that soak - and, at the same time, rehuida - loneliness that seemed to claim for your creative needs.

Prisoner, then, of a frantic literary activity, surrendered to the compulsive writing that would be his masterwork, the process, without having more contacts with Felice than those maintained by epistolary means. Between 1914 and 1915, while the Prague writer ever come to know it, he/she engendered in Grete Bloch (an intimate friend of his ex-girlfriend) a child who died at seven years of age, and of which only has news for the confessions made by the own Grete in a letter to a friend in 1940 (apparently, the relationship between Kafka and Grete Bloch arose as a result of this mediation in a new reconciliation between) the couple separated; (de ahi que, by respect for his friend, the single mother never revealed the name of the father of his son). Either way, the truth is that the Prague author had already stated on numerous occasions their aversion to fatherhood and his intention to not have children, perhaps in another sign of the need of self-absorption and introspection that required you your dedication to writing. The own Felice Bauer was aware - always by epistolary means - this desire for Franz Kafka, who seemed to return to his side in 1915, too uninteresting, to deal with a lengthy period of creative sterility in some way.

Already by then his fame began to circulate fluently through the literary gossip of major German cities, and at the end of that year of 1915 in Berlin received the prestigious award Fontane, once the famous playwright Carl Sternheim had withdrawn its candidature in favour of Franz Kafka, who judged more worthy recipient of this award. He/She had just appeared, in the month of September, the metamorphosis, but the writer remained stranded in a barren stage, so desperately sought a way out trying to be admitted - in full conflagration world-in the military service, of which at the time had been excluded because of his weak Constitution and his sickly nature. But his request was not answered, and also ran his new attempt of union with Felice Bauer, so it turned to concentrate on its literary to retrieve, at long last, activity that creative fecundity of that had been displaying since the age of twenty-one.

So, during the biennium of 1916 - 1917 wrote with feverish dedication and amazing capacity fabuladora, interrupted on several occasions by the inconvenience that caused it the neighborhood because I couldn't stand the excessive noise and was forced to move his home as soon as the alien voices sob in the solitude of your room (arrived, even, to be transferred by the evenings home of his sister Ottlawhere they apparently breathed a greater environmental calm). Convinced, after that vigorous rebirth of his inspiration, that it was possible to leave any other profession to live with dignity using only your nursing writer, decided to finally marry Felice, by which, in the month of July 1917, both promised made public and official commitment. However, a month later, after having returned from a trip to Hungary, started to notice the first signs of serious medical condition that would be diagnosed him at the end of a time (pulmonary tuberculosis), and returned to fall into a deep depressive process that invited him to take refuge again beside his sister Ottla, in the city of Zürau. There came also from Berlin, Felice Bauer, who agreed with Franz Kafka to the final rupture of the engagement had been announced less than three months at the end of September.

After providing significant support to Ottla agricultural projects - support that further increased the distance between the author and his father-, Kafka returned to Prague in the summer of 1918, and soon after, settled in the small rural village of Schelesen, on the banks of the Elbe, where he/she met Julie Wohryzek, the daughter of Shoemaker and local Sexton, which returned to seal a commitment of wedding in 1919. At the end of that year he/she returned to his hometown and wrote, among other texts, his famous letter to the father, in which, among other objections to the behavior of his father, reproached him indifference showing to his literary work and the rejection had expressed regarding their intention of marriage with Julie (which was of Czech origin). But the breakdown of this second engagement of Kafka did not occur finally by the opposition of the old Draper of Prague, but by the impetuous irruption in the life of the writer of the Czech girl Milena Jesenka-Polak, who lived in Vienna, married to a Jew and had established a fruitful correspondence with the author of the metamorphosis, with the initial purpose of translating his writings some Czech. Between 1921 and 1922, Franz and Milena lived a passionate romantic relationship sustained during frequent visits to Prague of the young translator, who, from his own condition of Ingeborg, understood better than anyone the complexes and traumas of the writer and all its limitations, was discovering him from his cowardice to confront all the problems of life until its desperate retreat in literary fictionthrough a clear sense of inferiority which, in terms of sex, was sufficient to explain their tortuous indecision and his amorous failures with other women.

Although gathered in Prague, the writer had moved from 1920 to TB Matliary residence, located in the High Tatras (in the territory of present Slovakia), from where it made frequent returns to the capital Czech, several visits to her sisters and, among others, constant travel within central Europe. During the summer of 1923, in the company - now - his sister Elli, he/she traveled in Germany and reached Müritz, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, where he/she met a Jewish girl of twenty years of age, Dora Diamant, whose sympathy and naivety captivated him deeply. Excited about this new relationship, at the end of September 1923 he/she settled with her at Steglitz near Berlin, and lived by his side a few months of complete happiness, ratified by projects so exultant as the retiring both Palestine and integrated into the large Jewish community which felt an inherent part. But the painful disease that afflicted writer, aggravated by malnutrition and other hardships resulting from inflation affecting Europe, intervened between Dora and Franz to bypass the tragically their plans: a few days before the arrival of the spring of 1924, Prague author had to be led by his loyal friend Max Brod and his uncle Siegfried to your hometown, in a desperate attempt to tackle the spread of an evil that had attacked him already seriously the larynx there. He/She started, then, a sad tour of different healthcare centres which, started in the Wiener Wald hospital, then took him to the University Clinic in Vienna, and a few days later, of return to the sanatorium of Dr. Hoffmann in Kierling where, accompanied at all times by a desperate Dora Diamant, lost his life at the beginning of the month of June 1924.

In his early misfortune, buried in the cemetery of Straschnitz, had the fortune of not witnessing the terrible persecution unleashed against their legacy and their loved ones. At the beginning of the Decade of the 1930s, the Gestapo stormed the Berlin residence of Dora Diamant and seized numerous documents and manuscripts that, today, continue to be missing. In 1935, the German authorities were able to paralyze and, eventually, prohibit the first edition of his works, and, shortly after, the occupation of Czechoslovakia by the troops nazis led to the arrest of the three sisters of the writer, who were deported to different concentration camps in which they were soon killed. Become a symbol of Europe's Jews, the inquina of nazis against everything that could keep the lowest ratio with Kafka reached proportions horrific, coming to cause not only the vicious destruction of your library, your files and all your documents preserved in Prague (including much of their abundant correspondence was kept), but also arrest and annihilation of other relatives and friends of the writer.


General line, the stories and novels that make up the splendid narrative production of Franz Kafka presents a series of characters afflicted by a concern, guilt or conviction that suddenly (and almost always as unexpectedly as absurd) falls on them to deprive them of their identity, plunging them into the most inextricable confusion, reducing them to insignificance and ultimatelyexcluding them from any possibility to continue leading a happy and peaceful life. He/She has been said, sometimes, that the author of Prague projected religioso-espirituales concerns in that cluster of asphyxiating situations that shape his work of fiction, as if it had been a kind of SEER or visionary capable of warning and symbolically reflect other worlds, or at least one dimension of reality unknown to the rest of us. But, perhaps with greater accuracy, the vast majority of critics and readers has been a dazzling Existentialist approach than in the writings of Kafka, powered by the characteristic fabuladora capacity author Prague, it aims to reflect the allegorical image of the contemporary man, its alienation in the midst of uncontrolled scientific-technical progress which envelops him and drags, and his radical loneliness in overcrowded urban societiessubject to stringent controls as hidden as powerful.

Of course, it is impossible to provide a comprehensive portrait of the vast, varied and evocative literary production of Franz Kafka in an article of this nature. Yet it seems unavoidable while remember, at least, all the titles that make up his extensive narrative work, to proceed to a brief review of the arguments of its four most important works, each of which would have sufficed by itself to sustain universal literary recognition enjoyed by the Jewish author. By chronological order of composition, here's the impressive legacy that refused to give fire Max Brod: Beschreibung eines Kampfes (description of a struggle, 1904); Der Ausflug ins Gebirge (excursion to the mountain, 1905); Kinder auf der Landstraße (children on the road, 1905); Das gassenfenster (the window in the alley, 1906-1909); Der Kauffmann (the merchant, 1907); Hochzeitsvorbereitungen auf dem Lande (preparations for wedding in the field, 1907); Der Nachhauseweg (the way back, 1908); Der Fahrgast (passenger, 1908); Die Aeroplane in Brescia (airplanes of Brescia, 1909); Betrachtung (contemplation, 1909); Wunsch, Indianer zu sein (desire to be Indian, 1909-1910); Zum Nachdenken für Herrenreiter (reflections for amateurs, 1909-1910); Unglucklichsein (be miserable, 1910); Großer Lärm (noisy, 1911); Das Unglück des Junggesellen (misfortune of being single, 1911); Die STÄDTISCHE Welt (the urban world, 1911); Entlarvung eines Bauernfängers (unmasking of a haggler, 1911-1912); Richard und Samuel (Ricardo and Samuel, 1911-1912); Die Bäume (trees, 1912); Das Urteil (the convicts, 1912); Zerstreutes Hinausschauen (distracted contemplation, 1912); Rede über die jiddische Sprache (discourse on language yiddisch, 1912); Die Verwandlung (the metamorphosis, 1912); Die Abweisung (negative, 1912); Der Spaziergang (the sudden walk, 1912) plotzliche; Kleider (dresses, 1912); Ameika (American, 1912-1913); Der Heizer (Stoker, 1913); Vor dem Gesetz (before the law, 1914); Der Verschollene (the disappeared, 1914); Der Dorfschullehrer [Der Riesenmaulwurf] (the master of the people [the giant mole], 1914); Erinnerungen an die Kaldabahn (remembering Kalda railway, 1914); Der Prozess (the process, 1914); Der Unterstaatsanwalt (the Prosecutor, 1914-1915); Ein Traum (a dream, 1914-1915); Blumfeld, ein altérer Junggeselle (Blumfeld, a Bachelor, 1915); Das nächste Dorf (the neighboring town, 1917); Schakale und Araber (jackals and Arabs, 1917); Ein Brudermord (a fratricide, 1917); Auf der galerie (in the Gallery, 1917); Ein altes Blatt (an old sheet, 1917); Ein Bericht für eine Akademie (report for an Academy, 1917); Eine kaiseliche Botschaft (an imperial message, 1917); Beim Bau der Chinesischen Mauer (the wall of china, 1917); Der neue Advokat (new lawyer, 1917); Die Sorge des Hausvaters (the concern of the parent, 1917); Ein Besuch im Bergwerk (a visit to the mine, 1917); Brief an der Vater (letter to father, 1919); In der Strafkolonie (in the penal colony, 1919); Ein Landarzt (a country doctor, 1919); Nachts (at night, 1920); Der Kreisel (the spinning top, 1920); Poseidon (Poseidon, 1920); Zur Frage der Gesetze (on the issue of laws, 1920); Erstes Leid (first suffering, 1921); Ein Hungerkünstler (an artist from hunger, 1922); Das Schloss (the Castle, 1922); Forschungen eines stab (investigations of a dog, 1922); Der Bau (the Lair, 1923); Eine Frau kleiner (a small woman, 1923); and Josefine die Sängerin, oder Das Volk der Mause (Josefina the singer or the people in mice, 1924).

The metamorphosis

A morning of any given day, Gregor Samsa, a negligible trade salesman, wakes up from a troubled nightmare turned into an insect. While it has become the sole breadwinner of his family since the collapse of his father's business, does not dare to appear in public even before yours, as it is aware of the revulsion caused by his presence. Refugee in the solitude of his bedroom, he/she lives under the bed assisted only by an old maid who, from time to time, fed with scraps from the House. Finally, a day in which his sister Grete is playing the violin listen to musical chords and not resigned to follow blindly; but when it comes to the room where their relatives are it is wounded from death by an Apple throwing to him by his father. The old famula that had been feeding up to then is the only one who feels some compassion for him; but, however, sheds his corpse disposed of, as it would have done with any other insect.


A cheerful and happy, edenic America as any other invented paradise, greets the arrival of Karl Rossman, an also gentle and cheerful teenager that, at sixteen years of age, has left pregnant to a maid in his home, reason by which their parents have embarked it heading to this remote paradise where it is easy to forget very soon the attraction he/she feels toward the pregnant maid. Suddenly, while mediate any explanation, everything turns against: rejected without reasons by an uncle who, shortly behind, had received him with open arms, looks doomed to a life of subsistence that takes you to share adventures with two vagrants. The young Karl is then working as elevator at the Western Hotel but, also without cause apparent - is soon dismissed by their superiors. He/She then returns with two vagrants who knew at the beginning of their misfortunes and just finding a new job at the Grand Theatre of Oklahoma... The novel, which was released posthumously, is hereby interrupted.

The process

Also published after the death of Kafka (although in the same year of his disappearance), this hilarious novel - which by itself justifies the coining of the adjective Kafkaesque to allude to an incomprehensible occurrence or an inexplicably absurd situation - recounts the tribulations of the modest bank employee Josef K., who "without that I had done nothing wrong, a morning arrested him". Communicates that this defendant in a judicial process that initially does not seem to worry him, since whatever the offence charged is very sure of his innocence. But soon absorbed by the powerful procedural machinery, gradually losing that security in itself to neglect their job duties and be fully immersed in a maelstrom of absurd that leads him to assume (and, even, accept how irrevocable) a sentence by unknown causes. On the eve of the day in which meets thirty-one years of age, two men dressed in black they are arrested in their homes and lead it to a field, where they give him stabbed to death.


Posted to the two years of the death of the Jewish writer, the Castle concerns the vicissitudes of the surveyor k., who wants to settle and ply his trade in a village that has just arrived, ruled by a powerful Lord who lives in a castle perched on top of a hill. But nor suspicious officers controlling the bureaucracy of the place, nor the hostile villagers - who seem to be accustomed to suffer resignedly the most arbitrary legal outrages - receive with open arms to k., who, despite the rejection that surrounds him, decides to stay in that place, where is in love with the young Frieda. When this also leaves the protagonist, it appears, in the midst of their despair, an official of the castle which seems to be the only person in the village ready to offer support; but k., asleep in his hotel room, does not listen to this offering. And though the novel was interrupted at this point, by notes left by the own Kafka has been able to meet end intending to give this story: the people of the village only dare to support k when it, dying, no longer need it.


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