GERM-471 Franz Kafka
This course is designed to familiarize students with the work of Franz Kafka, the cultural milieu of early twentieth-century Prague in which he wrote, and some of the literary and philosophical issues at work in his short stories, aphorisms and novels. The primary focus will be on such rhetorical elements as denotative vs. connotative use of language, rhetorical figures (especially the metaphor), and on the narrative, semiotic, and semantic way by which contradictions and shifts in perspective are addressed in the texts. Progressing more or less chronologically and including different genres of Kafka’s writings, we will address a broad range of philosophical and theological issues of guilt, knowledge, and justice, as well as historical issues pertinent to the life of Franz Kafka as artist, Jew and professional in the fading Austro-Hungarian Empire.
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