7 Weird Facts About Kafka

1. Kafka was a vegetarian and took interest in gardening

Kafka was a vegetarian for health and ethical reasons. But: Although Kafka wrote the short story A Hunger Artist, he was not actually malnourished. Contemporaries describe him as a person who kept his body in good shape with regular exercises and frequent walks.

With his growing interest in a possible emigration to Palestine, Kafka also took interest in gardening so that he could grow his own vegs.

2. Kafka owned a boat

Kafka loved to visit the Civil Swimming School at the Vltava river where he docked his own boat.

3. Kafka co-owned an asbestos factory

In 1911, Kafka’s brother-in-law Karl Hermann persuaded Kafka to co-own a factory known as Prager Asbestwerke Hermann and Co.. After some initial enthusiasm, Kafka soon felt bothered by these time-consuming obligations that kept him from writing.

4. Kafka was 31 years old when he finally lived alone

It was in Prague’s Bílkova Street where little Franz lived alone for the very first time. But it was not actually his wish to rent his own flat. It was the time of the First World War. His brothers-in-law were drafted into the army and his sisters had to move back to their parents. So little Franz had to find his own place.

5. Kafka was 3 times engaged with 2 different women, but he never married

His two “wives-to-be-not” were Felice Bauer (1914, 1917) and Julie Wohryzek (1919).

6. Kafka was a doctor of laws

Kafka studied at Prague’s renowned Charles University and was rewarded the title in 1906.

7. Kafka has 2 weird monuments in Prague

The first one was created by Jaroslav Róna and it is a reference to Kafka’s early short story Description of a Struggle. It depicts a man – who looks a bit like Kafka – riding on an empty suit.

Franz Kafka Monument PragueThe second one is a sculpture by David Černý in the shape of Kafka’s head. It is made up of 42 layers of steel, weighing together 45 tons.

This sculpture resembles another work of Černý called Metamorphosis.

Experience Kafka in Prague

Ever wanted to walk in Kafka’s footsteps without having to write a single line of depressive prose? It’s easier than you might think – just make sure to take the self-paced audio tour through Kafka’s Prague.


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