A Companion to the Works of Franz Kafka

Overview

No other writer of German-language literature in the 20th century has been as fully accepted into the canon of world literature as Franz Kafka. The unsettlingly, enigmatically surreal world depicted in Kafka's novels and stories continues to fascinate readers and critics of each new generation, who in turn continue to find new readings. One thing has become wholly clear: although all theories attempt to appropriate Kafka, there is no one key to his work. The challenge to critics has been to present a strong point...
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Overview

No other writer of German-language literature in the 20th century has been as fully accepted into the canon of world literature as Franz Kafka. The unsettlingly, enigmatically surreal world depicted in Kafka's novels and stories continues to fascinate readers and critics of each new generation, who in turn continue to find new readings. One thing has become wholly clear: although all theories attempt to appropriate Kafka, there is no one key to his work. The challenge to critics has been to present a strong point of view while taking account of previous Kafka research, a challenge that has been met by the contributors to this volume.

The essays follow an introduction by the editor, and include: Clayton Koelb on the controversial question of Kafka editions; Walter H. Sokel on a life of reading--and writing about--Kafka; Judith Ryan on the early stories; Russell A. Berman on tradition and betrayal in `The Judgment'; Ritchie Robertson on anti-Christian elements in `The Judgment,' `The Metamorphosis,' and the aphorisms; Henry Sussman on Kafka's evolving aesthetics; Stanley Corngold on The Trial; Bianca Theisen on Kafka's use of circus motifs in the stories `Up in the Gallery' and `First Sorrow'; Rolf J. Goebel on the connection of Kafka's The Missing Person, `In the Penal Colony,' and `The Great Wall of China' to postcolonial critique; Richard T. Gray on the semiotics and aesthetics of 'In the Penal Colony'; Ruth V. Gross on the `enigmatics' of the short fiction; Sander L. Gilman on Kafka's Jewishness and the story `The Country Doctor,' John Zilcosky on the colonial visions in The Castle, Mark Harman on the variants to The Castle and what they tell us about Kafka's writing process; and Clayton Koelb on Kafka's rhetoric in the late stories `Josephine the Singer' and `The Burrow.'

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Preface
Kafka's Works by Year of First Appearance, With Date of First English Translation
Abbreviations of Kafka's Works
Introduction: Kafka Begins 1
Critical Editions I: The 1994 Paperback Edition 21
Critical Editions II: Will the Real Franz Kafka Please Stand Up? 27
Beyond Self-Assertion: A Life of Reading Kafka 33
Kafka before Kafka: The Early Stories 61
Tradition and Betrayal in "Das Urteil" 85
Kafka as Anti-Christian: "Das Urteil," "Die Verwandlung," and the Aphorisms 101
Kafka's Aesthetics: A Primer: From the Fragments to the Novels 123
Medial Allusions at the Outset of Der Process; or res in media 149
Kafka's Circus Turns: "Auf der Galerie" and "Erstes Leid" 171
Kafka and Postcolonial Critique: Der Verschollene, "In der Strafkolonie," "Beim Bau der chinesischen Mauer" 187
Disjunctive Signs: Semiotics, Aesthetics, and Failed Mediation in "In der Strafkolonie" 213
Hunting Kafka Out of Season: Enigmatics in the Short Fictions 247
A Dream of Jewishness Denied: Kafka's Tumor and "Ein Landarzt" 263
Surveying The Castle: Kafka's Colonial Visions 281
Making Everything "a little uncanny": Kafka's Deletions in the Manuscript of Das Schloss and What They Can Tell Us About His Writing Process 325
Kafka Imagines His Readers: The Rhetoric of "Josefine die Sangerin" and "Der Bau" 347
Notes on the Contributors 361
Index 365
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