Before writing his best-known works, Franz Kafka hoped to make millions with a series of on the cheap guides to European travel
Years before penning Metamorphosis, considered by some to be the greatest short story ever written,Franz Kafka hoped to make his fortune writing a series of budget European travel guides.
Kafka conceived a business plan for the books, dubbed on the cheap, while travelling across the continent with his friend Max Brod in the summer of 1911. This detail was revealed in volume three of Reiner Stachs biography, Kafka: The Early Years, published in translation (by Shelley Frisch) last month.
The ahead-of-its-time idea (considering the popularity of budget travel tips today) sought to take on the traditional Baedeker travel guides, which then consisted primarily of hotel and restaurant listings, but lacked the insider knowledge Kafka felt was truly valuable to a traveller.