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KAFKA, FRANZ (1882-1924).

Writer. Born in Prague, he was a strange genius whose short life was unhappy. From his youth he lived only for his writing. Kafka’s family life was difficult; he never succeeded in gaining his father’s approval, nor did he agree with his father’s views. Kafka never married. His first engagement was broken after several years when he became ill with tuberculosis. The second woman he fell in love with was forbidden to marry him. This personal unhappiness and Kafka’s Jewishness are thought to be reflected in his novels, stories, and sayings. Outstanding among his writings are the short story Metamorphosis and the novelsĀ The Trial and The Castle. These works have a strange poetic beauty and an eerie, dream-like quality. Yet they continually startle readers with the recognition of reality and the hero’s hopeless, tragic fate.

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