Franz-Kafka

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Franz Kafka
Kafka on the Shore
Existentialism
&
Transcendentalism
Franz Kafka 1883-1924
• Born in Prague, Czech
Republic
• Jewish, middle class
• Doctor of Law
• No literary attention
until after his death
• Died of tuberculosis at
age of 40
• Works published
posthumously
Kafka
• Influenced by
• Socialism
• Yiddish ( Jewish )
literature
• Talmud ( Jewish
mystical teachings)
• Existentialism leanings
• Transcendental
metaphysical
contemplation
Existentialism
• a sense of
disorientation &
confusion in the face of
an apparently
meaningless or absurd
world.
• the individual is solely
responsible for giving
his own life meaning
and to be done
passionately and
sincerely despite of
existential obstacles
and distractions
including despair, angst,
absurdity, alienation, &
boredom
•
•
•
•
•
•
emphasis is the individual
about what constitutes a:
fulfilling life
achievements
obstacles to overcome
what external and internal
factors are involved
includes the potential
consequences of the
existence] or non-existence of
God.[
Transcendental metaphysical
contemplation
• reality, or reality as we
can know it, is mentally
constructed, or
otherwise immaterial.
• reality beyond what is
perceptible to the senses
• the mind shapes the
world we perceive into
the form of space-andtime.
Now back to Kafka
• Some believe he had schizoid personality
disorder
• Speculations regarding his sexual preferences
• Anorexia?
• Wrote in German
• Never finished any of his full length novels
• Known to start in middle or last page of note
book & write in a random order
Characteristics of his work
• Ambiguous
words/terms
• Hopelessness or
absurdity
• Magical realism
• Metaphysical quest for
God ( Talmud/ Zohar)
• Surrealist humor
• People invent their own
struggles
Famous for
• The
Metamorphosis
• The Trial
• The Castle
• It’s about a man
who wakes up and
finds he is
changed into a
beetle, and how
his family reacts to
his change. It’s an
allegorical short
novel about how
society view
illness, elderly, or
societal
expectations .
Literary mystery: Missing writings
• 20 notebooks & 35 letters
to last GF
• Kafka Project San Diego
State university
• It began in 1998 is an
official international
search for his lost writings
• confiscated by Gestapo
in Berlin in 1933
• 2003 they found 3 letters
• 2010 found a short story
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