By Ted Geier
This booklet is a compact examine of Kafka’s inimitable literary type, animals, and ecological thought—his nonhuman form—that proceeds via unique shut readings of Kafka’s oeuvre. With decide on engagements of Adorno, Derrida, and the literary historical past from Romanticism to Dickens that motivated Kafka, Ted Geier discusses Kafka’s literary, “nonhuman” shape and how it unsettles the inspiration of a usual and straightforward lifestyles that society and tradition impose, together with the bounds among human and animal. via cautious consciousness to the formal predicaments of Kafka’s works and fascinating with Kafka’s unique criminal and social idea in his novels and brief tales, this e-book renders Kafka’s occasionally impossibly enigmatic paintings legible on the point of its expression, bringing impressive form to his paintings and redefining what students and readers have understood because the “Kafkaesque”.
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Extra info for Kafka’s Nonhuman Form: Troubling the Boundaries of the Kafkaesque
65–79. 4. Hugh Kenner, Ulysses. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987. 5. For example, The Nonhuman Turn, edited by Richard Grusin, probes the “post-posthuman” terrain, contending that divisions of human/ nonhuman have always been unintelligible—perhaps ontologically, even. This seems to me to owe a significant debt to Kafkan narratology and the grammars of the counter-objective nonhuman he rigorously fails to approach, encounter, or articulate. Adorno’s privileging of Kafka’s expression is convinced of the same.
Certainly such freedom as is possible today is a wretched business. But nevertheless freedom, nevertheless a possession” (316). There is a convincing charge to be levied here that Kafka’s nonhuman is properly the old “inhuman” of bare, abject, humiliated life that suspects itself to bear some noble purpose and value. Lowering all life to a shared, flat quotidian of unmarked passage and non-progress would reiterate the Keatsian strophes in my Introduction in some regard then. This is the elegy for life, whatever form.
Lucht and Yarri also make the important gesture of including a broader sense of nonhumans—like balls, monsters, etc. ” An exciting read, not to be missed. The approaches are quite varied, which makes for a deeply engaging set of thoughts including the usual biographical and contextual studies of Kafka and his time. There is also one really elaborate study of primatology by Tom Tyler that is purportedly about a Kafka story but is really an excellent history of taxonomy. He even says, by the end, that there is a “more appropriate story” than Kafka’s with which to further his point.