Joseph K. Claims Compensation: Franz Kafka’s Legal Writings (Miscellanea)


Franz Kafka worked for 22 years for an insurance company, writing reports and preparing cases. His legal writings provide an insight into how his work experiences were a source and inspiration for his literary endeavours. Kafka described the alienation and exclusion of the individual in the face of modern bureaucracy. In works such as The Trial and The Castle, the individual is confronted with a baffling series of claims, obstacles and threats; as soon as one hurdle is overcome, another appears. The term “Kafkaesque” has become part of the English vernacular. Kafka’s legal work provides an insight into the problems faced by workers making legal claims, notably the alienation and frustration produced by the process. Today there is a growing recognition in the legal system of the importance of Kafka’s work and his writing, notably The Trial, which is being incorporated into the burgeoning study of law and literature.

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Kaplan, R. (2014). Joseph K. Claims Compensation: Franz Kafka’s Legal Writings. Advances in Historical Studies, 3, 115-121. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2014.32011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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