Franz Kafka was born in 1883, so he would probably be dead had he lived.
I wonder what Kafka would think about the worldwide communication and information of today. He was a rigid fixture of the staid (he hated using the telephone). He also was a keen observer of the world around him (he wrote the first newspaper report about aeroplanes, and he invented the safety helmet). It was more this deep divide in his personality which caused him his problems, about which he so famously wrote.
He did not fit into his personal world, yet he fit into the real world perfectly. He was adored by his friends and by many ladies. He was respected at his work and rose to a position of power. His stories were published to acclaim in his lifetime.
Kafka lived a Kafkaesque life. He died a Kafkaesque death (he caught tuberculosis because he drank “pure” unpasteurised cow’s milk). He was rigid in his personal beliefs (until proved wrong), yet he was a beacon of compassion to others.
Kafka was always on a tightrope. He looked at things with such accuracy that his comments can seem bizarre. Supposedly his last words were: “Kill me, or you are a murderer.” They were to his doctor, as Kafka beseeches for an overdose of morphine.
I have written much about Kafka. This is a diary entry I had him write in my novel “Kafka In The Castle”:
03 July 1917
The anniversary of my birth. In honour of the day, I do not make it my last.