Franz Kafka


Kafka was born in Prague when it was still a part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. He was the only surviving son in a family of six children. Both of his brothers died while in infancy. Young Franz was brought up in a German-Jewish family and excelled in school where he would eventually graduate with a doctoral degree in jurisprudence from Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague. His professional life was split between his work in an insurance firm and his career as a professional writer. Although he spent nearly his entire life in Prague close to his family, he died in Berlin while being treated for tuberculosis.

Der Process (The Trial) is about a young power of attorney for a bank who on his 30th birthday is arrested for reasons that he is never told. In his effort to free himself he becomes intimately acquainted with the court system responsible for his arrest until he is finally stabbed in a stone quarry on the eve of his 31st birthday.

His execution appears to be retribution on the part of the system for his having revealed it to be the absurd bureaucratic labyrinth that led to his wrongful arrest in the first place.