Franz Kafka is regarded as one of the most influential authors of the twentieth century. He was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague in the Kingdom of Bohemia, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Influenced by the troubled relationship with his father, Kafka opposed the mainstream society and explored themes of mystical transformations, alienation, and psychological cruelty in many of his novels and short works, such as The Metamorphosis, The Trial, and The Castle. Although he never visited, Kafka was also fascinated by America, writing an unfinished novel of the same name. So influential are his works that today’s term "Kafkaesque" is used to describe concepts and situations, filled with feelings of surrealism, helplessness and confusion, which are reminiscent of his writings.
Photographs courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic