"I should go beyond Kafka"

 Franz Kafka (1883-1924) was one of the most innovative and influential writers of the twentieth century.  He was born in Prague to a German speaking Jewish family; his ambiguous feelings towards the religion he inherited would be something which later greatly occupied his critics and biographers.  Most of his work was published posthumously, despite his instructions that it should be burnt.  He is best known for ‘The Trial’, ‘The Castle’ (both novels) and ‘The Metamorphosis’ (a short story).  His work has been assessed through such lenses as modernism, surrealism, existentialism and anarchism.  His style can most keenly be seen in the work of later 20th Century writers, particularly in the fields of magic realism and post-modernism.  New works with themes of isolation, the absurd and futility will often earn the epithet ‘Kafkaesque’.