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Franz Kafka Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

A Country Doctor (1919)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Penal Colony (1919)Description / Buy at Amazon
Investigations of a Dog (1922)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Burrow (1923)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Letters to Milena (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

Meditation (1913)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Metamorphosis and Other Stories (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diaries, 1910-1923 (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Parables and Paradoxes (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Complete Stories (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stories 1904-1924 (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Best Short Stories (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Unhappiness of Being a Single Man (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
He, the Shorter Writings of Franz Kafka (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Writings (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Book of Fantasy(1940)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shape Shifters: Fantasy and Science Fiction Tales About Humans Who Can Change Their Shapes(1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Penguin Book of Horror Stories(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Magical Realist Fiction(1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Little Book of Horrors: Tiny Tales of Terror(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Short Story: 30 Masterpieces(1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Picador Book of Crime Writing(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fathers: A Literary Anthology(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
50 Classic Novellas(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Book of Classic Horror, Fantasy & Science Fiction(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Flash Fiction International(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Great German Short Stories(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writers: Their Lives and Works(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Book of Classic Fantasy(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Franz Kafka was a German-speaking Bohemian author famously known for his book The Metamorphosis (1916) and books published posthumously such as The Trial (1925), which often focused on troubled people in a spine-chilling unbiased world. He was fluent in Czech and later learned some knowledge of French culture and language from Flaubert, one of his favorite authors.

Franz Kafka attended Charles-Ferdinand University in Prague, where he studied chemistry but later switched to law. This opened him to a wide range of career opportunities, which made his father happy and allowed the author to take lessons in German language and art history. At the university, he joined a club that organized readings and literary events. At the university, he met Felix Weltisch and Max Brod, who became close friends throughout his life.

Despite his influential nature posthumously, it’s important to note that Kafka wasn’t a full-time author and only wrote during his free time. He worked full-time for an insurance company and as a lawyer. His middle-class status when growing up made him an experienced man in society later in life, a reason why he was so conversant with the plight of common people in society. Reading his books, you will realize that the author connected deeply with the suffering of the common men who were subject to the endless suffering caused by corrupt men running the social system. His novels present the realism of the modern world, and any reader can easily connect with his writing even a century later. His books are still relevant, and most common men can resonate with his stories and characters.

Kafka’s writing attracted little attention before his death. When alive, he only published a few short stories and never completed writing his books except for the very short novel, The Metamorphosis. Prior to his death, Kafka informed Max Brod that his unpublished work was to be burned unread, but against Kafka’s wishes, Max went ahead and published most of Kafka’s stories. The books immediately garnered attention and critical acclaim. Max Brod underwent difficulty in compiling Kafka’s work in chronological order as Kafka would write his stories from the last pages of his notebooks towards the first and, at times, from the middle.

One of Kafka’s popular books is The Metamorphosis. It’s one of those rare books that will suck you in the right from the first page into a world so dark, so distorted and yet so real allowing your mind to learn the art of imagination. It allows you to start imagining; you see the figures, shapes and characters in your mind to help you connect with the story on a very different level.

Originally written in German under the title “Die Verwandlung”, the plot follows the story of an adventurous salesman by the name of Gregor Samsa. He wakes up one morning and finds himself transformed into a monster vermin. His metamorphosis from a normal human being into an enormous insect shocks him, but he rubs it off as he thinks that the metamorphosis is just a temporary thing. Rather than thinking about his new “body state,” Gregor thinks about his job and his employer, who would fire him because of his absence from work. But there is nothing else he can do as it becomes quite difficult for Gregor to function with his new body. Soon enough, the office manager comes knocking on his house to check him up and figure out the reason he never showed up to work.

Gregor doesn’t let the manager see him and instead tries to communicate behind the closed door, but his office manager and family cannot comprehend anything he says. Finally, he somehow drags himself to open the door, and upon seeing him, the family members are utterly shocked while the manager takes off. The story then begins, and we get to see how Gregor’s life is transformed. The metaphor and symbolism in this story are taught to different literature students across different institutions across the world. This novel isn’t just about Gregor’s physical metamorphosis; it’s also more about the transformation in people’s behavior when they become vulnerable.

Gregor is the only earning person in his family. He made sure all the needs of his father, mother, and sister were met and went ahead to sacrifice his own needs to tend to their own. However, after this physical metamorphosis, he becomes useless, and as a result, his family treats him accordingly. If you are keen enough, you will understand better this symbolism between Gregor and people going through similar kinds of illness. Diseases or illnesses change a man into something that becomes a burden on both the family and society. The people around the man will forget everything that the person must have done before and only see the uselessness of the person’s existence and view him as a burden.

Franz Kafka’s book, Metamorphosis, teaches us a lot of lessons. It’s a book that will not only leave you shocked but also teach you important life lessons. The metaphors and symbolism in the story are easy and traceable. Published posthumously, The Trial is the shocking story of Josef K, a well-known bank officer who arrested and forced to defend himself against a charge he doesn’t have any information on.

The protagonist, an egotistical banker called Josef K., awoke one morning to see two men in his room who informed him that he had been placed under arrest. The cause for his arrest is never disclosed, and even the policemen who delivered the news were in uniform. Over the following pages, we follow K. through a series of interactions that are the setting for conversations with a variety of characters who seldom resurface throughout the novel. Kafka is tough, and his message of the incomprehensibility of life and the powerlessness of a person is harsh and unequivocal. The author presents us with so many themes. On the surface is a skillful attack on the evil of a mindless bureaucracy and totalitarianism fueled by momentum and accountable to no one as it grinds up for continuous motion.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Franz Kafka

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