It’s All Because of Kafka

I have Franz Kafka to thank for rekindling my passion of reading as a child. For those who don’t know, Franz Kafka was a Czech-Austrian writer, probably most famous for his surrealist and absurdist writing styles. Kafka’s works frequently deal with themes of loneliness, existential anguish, and absurdity. His most famous works are “The Metamorphosis,” a short tale, and the novels The Trial and The Castle. The phrase “Kafkaesque” refers to events that are ludicrous and surreal, such as those presented in Kafka’s literature.

He was born in Prague in 1883 to a middle-class Jewish family who spoke German. He studied law, but after finishing his studies, he was hired full-time by an insurance company, leaving him little time to write. Despite writing several hundred letters to friends and relatives Kafka had a rocky connection with his father. He was engaged to various ladies and yet never married, and he died of tuberculosis at the age of 40 in 1924.

My mother used to read to me every night when I was a kid. This aided me in developing reading skills at a young age. I was reading at a grade school level by kindergarten.

When I got to junior high, though, the literature we were reading tired me. I quit reading completely. This changed my senior year when I was assigned to AP literature. We were required to read Franz Kafka’s short story The Metamorphosis.

I was moved to tears by this story. It was the first time a story made me cry. It was in a collection of short stories by Franz Kafka. I devoured the entire book in one sitting. Then I went out and purchased some more Kafka.

My younger brother brought home a book the following year and assured me it was full of adventure. My mother, as well as Kafka and Tolkien, are responsible for my passion of reading.