Franz Kafka was a German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work, which fuses elements of realism and the fantastic, typically features isolated protagonists facing bizarre or surrealistic predicaments and incomprehensible socio-bureaucratic powers, and has been interpreted as exploring themes of alienation, existential anxiety, guilt, and absurdity.
Few of Kafka's works were published during his lifetime. In his will, Kafka instructed his executor and friend Max Brod to destroy his unfinished works, but Brod ignored these instructions. His work has influenced a vast range of writers, critics, artists, and philosophers during the 20th and 21st centuries.
The critic August Nemo selected seven emblematic short stories of this author for his appreciation:
A Hunger Artist
In the penal colony
Before the Law
A Country Doctor
A Report to an Academy