Today is Franz Kafka’s Birthday

On July 3, 1883, the paramount novelist and short-story writer Franz Kafka was born into an upper-middle class, Jewish family.

However, from the beginning, Kafka’s life was cursed by tragedy. By the age of six, Kafka had lost two brothers and would soon lose three of his sisters to Nazi death camps. The family that was once composed of eight members, dwindled to three.

Kafka became the only child to his parents; however, it may have felt to him as though he lived a life of isolation. The relationship he shared with his parents was turbulent. His mother lacked the intellectual capacity to understand his desire to write. Kafka’s father was erratic and aggressive; he did not embrace Kafka’s creative nature so he attempted to force him to be a man of business.

Kafka’s writing reflects his tumultuous and painful upbringing. The insecurities he developed as a child plagued his abilities to devote his life to his love, writing.

He worked office jobs that often proved to be too sedentary. He eventually found a position at an insurance agency that gifted him the time and freedom to focus on writing after work. However, this balance was cut short when Kafka was diagnosed with tuberculosis and died in 1924.

His writing remained mostly private until after his death. Kafka released only a couple of his pieces throughout his life, one being Metamorphosis. His insecurities deprived him of the confidence to share his work. He instructed his friend, Max Brod, to destroy any of the manuscripts he had ever written. However, thankfully, Brod decided to disobey his friend’s request and release some of Kafka’s best pieces.

Kafka was given his well-deserved fame after his death, and he will live on in the world of literary geniuses. Nevertheless, his story should serve as a lesson to all aspiring writers. Never let the fear of judgment and criticism prohibit you from sharing your work.

What is a fear you face as a writer, and how do you plan to overcome that?