Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Franz Kafka as a Young Lawyer

Photo of the Day

Franz Kafka,[born in 1883 in Prague–died in 1924 in Kierling just outside Vienna] in 1906, after obtaining his Doctor of Law degree (June 18th) from Charles University, which would make him 23 in this photo. Kafka died in a sanatorium from tuberculosis at age 40. It was through the efforts of his friend and literary executor Max Brod [1884–1968] that the world has come to know of Kafka’s work. Kafka had requested that his work be burnt after his death [“Dearest Max,” he wrote. “My last wish: Everything that I leave behind [is] to be burned unread.”], which Brod ignored. In fact, he spent many years pain-painstakingly putting the words of Kafka in the form of the novels that we know today—The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle—books that all educated people used to read. If Kafka was not understood in his life, there have been attempts to understand him after his death, to place him in a category, which is precisely what he resisted. Even so, there are many critical and contemporary views of Kafka as a writer. When I read Kafka, I feel the tension he creates as a writer, as an outsider who sees and feels a world full of strictures (legal and religious, perhaps), alienation and hostility, emboldened by a bureaucracy that finds men guilty even when none is apparent. To a large degree, people are guilty for being human, for not conforming to some norm, to some expectation, whether social or religious. People are not free to be themselves. At one time before his death, he had plans to go to Palestine, but that did not occur. For more, go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].
Photo Credit: Atelier Jacobi: Sigismund Jacobi (1860–1935)
Source: Wikipedia Commons

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