Kafka for the Twenty-First Century

Kafka for the Twenty-First Century

Edited by Stanley Corngold, Ruth V. Gross

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Leading international Kafka scholars face the challenges Kafka poses in the new millennium.
Franz Kafka's literary career began in the first decade of the twentieth century and produced some of the most fascinating and influential works in all of modern European literature. Now, a hundred years later, the concerns of a new century call for a look at the challenges facing Kafka scholarship in the decades ahead: What more can we hope to learn about the context in which Kafka wrote? How does understanding that context affect how we read his stories? What are the consequences of new critical editions that offer unprecedented access to Kafka's works in manuscript form? How does our view of Kafka change the priorities and fashions of literary scholarship? What elements in Kafka's fiction will find resonance in the historical context of a new millennium? How do we compose a coherent account of a personality with so many contradictory aspects? All these questions and more are addressed by the essays in this volume, written by a group of leading international Kafka scholars.

Contributors: Peter Beicken, Iris Bruce, Jacob Burnett, Uta Degner, Doreen Densky, Katja Garloff, Rolf Goebel, Mark Harman, Robert Lemon, Roland Reuß, Ritchie Robertson, Walter Sokel, John Zilcosky, Saskia Ziolkowski.

Stanley Corngold is Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. Ruth V. Gross is Professor of German and Head of the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at North Carolina State University.

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Table of Contents

Running Texts, Stunning Drafts
"Torturing the Gordian Knot": Kafka and Metaphor Revisited
Nietzsche and Kafka: The Dionysian Connection
What Kafka Learned from Flaubert: Absent-Minded Window-Gazing and The Judgment
Kafka's Racial Melancholy: "A Report to an Academy"
Strange Loops and Absent Center in The Castle
Proxies in Kafka: Koncipist FK and Prokurist Joseph K
Kafka, Goffman, and the Total Institution
Kafka in Virilio's Teletopical City
Kafka's Visual Method: The Gaze, the Cinematic, and Intermedial
"Samsa war Reisender": Trains, Trauma, and the Unreadable Body
The Comfort of Strangeness: Correlating the Kafkaesque and the Kafkan in Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled
Kafka's Journey into the Future: Crossing Borders into Israeli/Palestinian Worlds
Kafka and Italy: A New Perspective on the Italian Literary Landscape
Works Cited-Full Bibliography


The essays in this volume are all worth reading, . . . well written and cogently argued. . . . Often they are provocative, sometimes opening up new avenues into parts of Kafka's oeuvre . . . sometimes, just as productively, re-exploring old ones. . . . [T]aken together the essays do in fact set out a fairly coherent agenda for Kafka Studies over the coming years and even decades. --Julian Preece, MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW

[P]roves that there is no end in sight to Kafka scholarship. . . . With its fine scholarship, comprehensive bibliography, [and] detailed index, [this collection] excels in every respect: the book is user friendly and at the same time an important addition to Kafka research. JOURNAL OF AUSTRIAN STUDIES

The best moments in Kafka for the Twenty-First Century are those which return us to the detail of Kafka's own writing, often of fragmentary and little-regarded bits and pieces, which immediately reminds us why we read Kafka in the first place. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT[Gabriel Josipovici]

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