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Franz Kafka was born in Prague Bohemia July 3 1883 and died June 3 1924 of tuberculosis at the age of 40 He came from a middle-class Jewish family His father was a shopkeeper and tried to climb up the social ladder by working hard at his shop and sending Franz to a prestigious German high school He went on to get a law degree and worked for two insurance companies not at the same time When his tuberculosis got bad in 1917 he was put on temporary retirement with a pension German was the language the upper class spoke and by sending Franz to German schools his father tried to disassociate from the lower class Jewish who lived in the ghetto They were always moving from apartment to apartment advancing as the business grew Franz had a very strained relationship with his father that traumatically affected his whole life This is apparent in a letter to his father he wrote What was always incomprehensible to me was your total lack of feeling for the suffering and shame you could inflict on me with your words and judgments It was as though you had no notion of your power Letter Max Brod and Franz met in college and became life long friends It was Max who persuaded Franz to publish some of his work and it was Max who was responsible for most of the Kafka writings that are available today Franz had entrusted his manuscripts to Max and in his last will and testament specified that all his work was to be destroyed Instead Max had them published after Franz deathAlthough he never married he was engaged several times but always broke the engagement as the wedding day would approach Most of the biographies about him tell of his problem with women and repulsion from sex and say that it was evident in his writings In an entry in his diary he wrote Coitus
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