The death of the man himself shows that the word “Kafkaesque” is not guilty of the vacuousness which it is sometimes accused of.
It’s July 3rd. On this day in 1883, 130 years ago, Franz Kafka was born. On June 3rd, in 1924, he died.*
He died of starvation, resulting from having laryngeal tuberculosis and its being too painful to eat. At the time, he was working on his masterpiece short story, The Hunger Artist, which was about starvation and which he had started work on before himself being unable to eat.
If only there were some word to describe the comic yet uneasy feeling of there being a great plan at work, but the machinations of that plan being obscured…
Ah, yes. How Kafkaesque!
*Edited: This post originally stated that he died on his birthday, July 3rd.