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About Kafka

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 9 months ago



Franz Kafka was born into middle-class, German speaking Jewish family in Prague on July 3, 1883. German was his first language, however he was also nearly fluent in Czech. He later learned to speak French and loved to read Flaubert. He attended Charles University of Prague studying chemistry, but switched to law after only two weeks. In 1912, Kafka met Felice Bauer. They communicated for five years, met occasionally, and were engaged to be married twice. Their relationship ended in 1917 shortly before he began suffering from tuberculosis. In the early 1920s he met a Czech writer/journalist Milena Jesenská. In 1923, Kafka moved to Berlin to get away from his family’s influence to concentrate on his writing. While in Berlin, he lived with Dora Diamant, a kindergarten teacher from an orthodox Jewish family. She became Kafka’s lover and influenced his interest in the Talmud.

It is believed that Kafka suffered from clinical depression and social anxiety his entire life. He also suffered from migraines, insomnia, constipation, boils, and other ailments, usually caused by excessive stress. His tuberculosis continued to worsen and forced him to move back to Prague. There, he went to a sanatorium near Vienna where he died on June 3, 1924. No will was found among Kafka's literary remains. In his desk among a mass of papers lay a folded note written in ink and addressed to his would-be publisher and best friend Max Brod.




Dearest Max, my last request: Everything I leave behind me (in my bookcase, linen-cupboard, and my desk both at home and in the office, or anywhere else where anything may have got to and meet your eyes), in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, to be burned unread; also all writings and sketches which you or others may possess; and ask those other for them in my name. Letters which they do not want to hand over to you, they should at least promise faithfully to burn themselves.


Franz Kafka







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