Franz Kafka worked as an insurance agent at the Workers’ Accident Insurances Institute of the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague until his health forced him to leave work. In this article, Dan Skwire argues that Franz Kafka’s attitude toward work was more complex than his biographers have acknowledged and than a quick reading of his diaries might suggest. At the Institute, he was clearly a successful and valued employee. And his diaries contain substantive evidence that he cared deeply about the quality of his office work.
This article, first published in Contingencies explores Kafka’s relationship to work as well as the interplay between his work and writing.