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Most writers work so hard to be famous. We study the craft, we self promote, we tweet. But sometimes Fame happens despite our best efforts to avoid it.

Frank Kafka, famous,

Frank Kafka, a testament to self belief

Franz, for example, was an insurance clerk who wrote short stories in his spare time and constantly complained that his day job left him too little time for his ‘calling.’

Only a few of his works were published in his lifetime – perhaps because they were surrealistic and deeply disturbing. One was about a scientist who wakes up one morning and discovers he has turned into a cockroach.

Franz thought his stuff was so bad he asked his best friend and the executor of his estate, Max Brod, to destroy all his manuscripts upon his death. Max promised him faithfully – then reneged, and published posthumously everything Kafka asked him not even to read.

Franz Kafka is now considered one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, his work is said to have influenced Camus, Sartre, Nabokov, J.D. Salinger, García-Márquez and Bukowski. Continue reading