Died on this day – 3 June 1924



Franz Kafka (born 3 July 1883) was a German-speaking Bohemian Jewish novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. He had a legal education and worked for an insurance company with writing relegated to his spare time. Little of his writing was published in his lifetime and in his will he left instructions to his friend Max Brod that his manuscripts should be destroyed. To our everlasting benefit Brod ignored these instructions.

Kafka suffered from laryngeal tuberculosis and in March 1924 his condition worsened and he returned from Berlin to Prague. From there he went to a sanatorium outside Vienna. In May of that year he managed a short holiday hoping to recuperate amongst the bookshops in the Cité de l’Ecrit in Montmorillon, France. Unfortunately his condition worsened again and on 3 June he died whilst happily noting that The Glass Key bookshop was displaying an excellent selection of his as yet unpublished work. His body was brought back to Prague where he was buried on 11 June 1924.

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