born on 3 July 1883 in Prague – died on 3 June 1924 in Kierling, Austria
Best known and world-renowned representative of Prague German literature, one of the most significant fiction writers in 20th-century world literature. After graduating in law from Prague’s German University, he worked as an official in two insurance associations between 1907-1922. He regarded writing as his main purpose in life and found it hard to reconcile it with his work at the office which he performed conscientiously. He fell ill with a lung disease in 1917 and battled in vain with the illness for seven years. He was extremely self-critical about his literary output, releasing only a small segment for publication, mostly unwillingly. The majority of his works, the part which was to ensure his international reputation, was published from his estate thanks to the refusal of Kafka’s closest friend Max Brod to respect the author’s wish that the manuscripts be burned without mercy.