Franz Kafka

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Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was a Czech novelist and short-story writer, writing in German. His novels, Amerika, The Trial and The Castle, are forerunners of what became known as the Absurd.

He wrote many short stories, of which perhaps the best known, Metamorphosis, tells of a young man who wakes up to find he has turned into a giant cockroach.

The protagonists of the last two novels, called 'Joseph K.' in The Trial and just 'K.' in The Castle, are ensnared in a vast and hopeless bureaucracy.

Kafka wished to destroy all his writings, and it is only thanks to his friend Max Brod that they survive.