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Kafka: Judaism, Politics, and Literature
     

Kafka: Judaism, Politics, and Literature

by Ritchie Robertson
 

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This new study of Kafka dispels the myth of the solitary, tortured recluse working outside any literary or cultural tradition. Taking as his central theme Kafka's sense of Jewish identity and knowledge of Judaism, Ritchie Robertson elucidates some of the subtle and profound ways in which Jewish religion and culture influenced his writings. More generally, Robertson

Overview

This new study of Kafka dispels the myth of the solitary, tortured recluse working outside any literary or cultural tradition. Taking as his central theme Kafka's sense of Jewish identity and knowledge of Judaism, Ritchie Robertson elucidates some of the subtle and profound ways in which Jewish religion and culture influenced his writings. More generally, Robertson shows how Kafka's life and work were affected by the social and political history of his time, and relates his novels also to European literary traditions. Hitherto neglected writings are discussed, including his aphorisms, which are interpreted as a coherent meditation on religion and society, and as the intellectual framework for much of Kafka's fiction. Casting new light on Kafka's thought and on his literary art, this book brings both together into sharper focus.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Deserves and will certainly obtain a wide readership among Kafka scholars....A useful and provocative source of information about Kafka's religious and political milieu."—Journal of Religion

"The tone and comprehensiveness of [Robertson's] study establish it as a major contribution to our understanding of the totality of Kafka's impact and importance as a writer. Thus for both the general reader interested in Kafka as well as for the specialist, Robertson's work is indispensable....[An] excellent analysis."—The German Quarterly

"Sets Kafka firmly into the literary and cultural context of his time and place, using a gratifyingly wide variety of pertinent literary, historical, political, philosophical and religious texts with scholarly acumen, tact and flair. It not only enhances our understanding of Kafka's art, but also increases our respect for his determined grappling with such ultimate problems as the disjunction or disharmony of consciousness and being, individual aspiration and social bondage, man's innate religious need and his endemic inability to reach that solid assurance of metaphysical truth for which he longs."—Times Literary Supplement. "An important book that every Kafka scholar will want to—and need to—read."—German Studies Review.

"Certainly one of the most important studies on Kafka to appear in the last five to ten years....It is sensitive to different theoretical, comparative, and sociological issues. Lucid discussions of recent genre theory precede generic consideration of individual texts....Also, Robertson is very sensitive throughout to the narratological problem of shifting narrative points of view as well as to women's issues pertinent to Kafka's writings....He succeeds brilliantly in illuminating the complex German-Jewish aspect of much of Kafka's work."—Modern Fiction Studies

"[A] short but immensely versatile history of Kafka's scholarship....Robertson's book is an interesting account of one of Kafka's central preoccupations."—Studies in Contemporary Jewry IV

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780198158141
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/28/1991
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)

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