Franz Kafka was a lawyer and an investigator of industrial accidents for an insurance company in Prague.
Encounter with Indiana Jones
In August 1917, while Franz Kafka was working at an insurance company in Prague, an enraged spy named Indiana Jones burst into his office demanding "Form 27A". Jones narrated all his frustrating adventures concerning the bureaucracy—including his brief stay in jail due to a mistake—all just to install a telephone. Kafka simply responded that not only had Jones stumbled into the wrong office, but also that Form 27A had become obsolete, superseded by Form 27B.
Kafka, however, was moved by Indy's (who introduced himself as "Amadeus Schubelgruber") story and decided to assist him in finding the correct paperwork. He led him to an office looking for Anton Dvorak, the only employee who supplied 27B. As if Indy's obstacles were not enough, Dvorak explained that he lost the key to the cabinet with the form. Kafka proposed suggested calling the janitor but for this Dvorak said he would need Form 103C, which was also inside the cabinet.
Kafka added that there were ways to fight bureaucracy, and proposed to carry the cabinet itself to the janitor, located in the basement. In their attempt to carry it down the stairway, the three used a rope from a hoist belonging to a restoration crew working on the building. Indy, however, pulled the wrong end of the rope and the cabinet began to roll down the stairs, taking ladders and scaffolds with it and causing havoc in its wake.
Eventually it crashed into the hall, scattering all its papers about the room. Finally finding Form 27B, Indy thanked Kafka for his assistance, who replied that bureaucracy could be interesting. As Indy left, Kafka observed "what a... trial" the events had been.
Death and legacy
On an early summer day in June 1924, Kafka passed away for tuberculosis just one month shy of his 41st birthday. His parents gathered the whole Kafka family and a small group of friends to bury him.
After Kafka's death, his work became enormously influential, remaining unrivaled for its intensity, modernity and prescient.
Personality and traits
Franz Kafka hardly made a living working as lawyer for an insurance company. However, he was considered a great writer who believed that the absurd was commonplace while reality was a nightmare. He was thought of as a visionary chronicler of modern horror, such as the totalitarian state, death camps and the kind of inhumanity that a man created, which inspired Kafka to show the cost of modern devotion to technology, order and efficiency.
Behind the scenes
- Franz Kafka's Dark Truth (Non-fiction source)