Another literary legend who suffered from the common writer’s affliction of obscurity was Franz Kafka. With the occasional short story appearing in journals like Hyperion, Kafka never received anything other than a lukewarm response in his era, even when it came to his novels. Upon his death, he demanded that his literary executor, Max Brod, destroy all of his work, whether published or not. Obviously, Brod did just the opposite, helping to promote Kafka’s posthumous legacy. It is endlessly ironic that Kafka’s themes focused largely on futility and that, as soon as he stopped trying (very literally, due to his death), fame came in spades.
KEEP READING: "Have You Failed as a Writer If You Aren’t Famous?"
Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867-1959)
Pacific Dwelling for Mr. and Mrs. Morris, San Francisco, 1945
VC Morris commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a gallery on Maiden Lane in San Francisco. While working together, Wright proposed this mansion for Morris’ dramatic lot in San Francisco’s Seacliff neighborhood. Morris considered Wright’s first design too elaborate (top). He asked Wright to dial it back. The bottom image shows the toned-down version haha. It was never built; Morris’ Xanadu Gallery is Wright’s only San Francisco building.