Google Doodle celebrates Franz Kafka’s 130th birthday

3 Jul 2013

The latest Google Doodle celebrates the life of Austrian novelist Franz Kafka who was born 130 years ago on this day and was considered one of the most influential authors of the 20th century.

Kafka, who was born in Prague in 1883, died in 1924 near Vienna at just 40 years of age.

He wrote such works as Die Verwandlung (The Metamorphosis or Transformation) and Das Schloss (The Castle), which influenced the existentialist genre of philosophical thinking beginning with the human subject championed by Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Camus and Sartre.

The Google Doodle – a stylised Google logo on the search giant’s homepage – today depicts one of the stories from Die Verwandlung about a travelling salesman called Gregor who wakes up one day find himself transformed into a beetle.

Critics regard Die Verwandlung as one of the seminal works of fiction in the 21st century.

Kafka quotes:

“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The non-existent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”

“Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.”

“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years