GERM-435 Franz Kafka: Modernism in Literature
Spring for 2014-2015
Franz Kafka is one of the great modernist writers of world literature. In this course, we will read and analyze some of his best-known works: short prose texts (often referred to as “parables”), longer narratives, such as The Metamorphosis, The Verdict, or In the Penal Colony, finally the novel America. Attention will be paid to formal and structural aspects as well as wider contextual issues whose discussion has shaped Kafka reception and scholarship for the last century (e.g., justice and the law, the theological and Jewish heritage, the problem of meaning and communication, the regime of modern bureaucracy, critique of modern civilisation and technology, psychoanalytical constellations [esp. father-son]. Readings will be in German. Graduate students will be asked to do additional readings, at least one more novel (The Trial or The Castle).
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