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Franz Kafka's Biography

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Franz Kafka was born on 3 July 1883 of Jewish parents in Prague, then part of Bohemia in Austria-Hungary but now part of the Czech Republic. His father was a rich merchant and often characterised as domineering.

Although Franz Kafka initially studied literature and medicine, he graduated in law from the German University in Prague. From 1907 to 1923 he worked in the accident prevention department of the Workers' Accident Insurance Institution.

Franz Kafka suffered from a lung disease/consumption/tuberculosis, which eventually led to his death on 3 June 1924.

His best known works were his three unfinished novels The Trial, The Castle and Amerika - although these were only published after his death, and similarly the short story Metamorphosis.His books were all written in German. Many of them depicted a world where the individual is alienated often by bureaucracy, leading to the adjective Kafkaesque.

According to the Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thinkers, "to understand Kafka it is essential to read his self-lacerating diaries."

He was the subject of a fictionalised film, called Kafka, starring Jeremy Irons.

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