Kafka's Creatures: Animals, Hybrids, and Other Fantastic Beings

Kafka's Creatures: Animals, Hybrids, and Other Fantastic Beings

By: Marc Lucht (editor), Donna Yarri (editor)Paperback

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There are few literary authors in whose work animals and other creatures play as prominent a role as they do in Franz Kafka's. Exploring multiple dimensions of Kafka's incorporation of nonhuman creatures into his writing, this volume is the first collection in English of essays devoted to illuminating this important and ubiquitous dimension of his work. The chapters here are written by an array of international scholars from various fields, and represent a diversity of interpretive approaches. In the course of exploring the roles played by nonhuman animals and other creatures in Kafka's writing, they help make sense of the literary and philosophical significance of his preoccupation with animals, and make clear that careful investigation of those creatures illuminates his core concerns: the nature of power; the inescapability of history and guilt; the dangers, promise, and strangeness of the alienation endemic to modern life; the human propensity for cruelty and oppression; the limits and conditions of humanity and the risks of dehumanization; the nature of authenticity; family life; Jewishness; and the nature of language and art. Thus the essays in this volume enrich our understanding of Kafka's work as a whole. Especially striking is the extent to which the articles collected here bring into focus the ways in which Kafka anticipated many of the recent developments in contemporary thinking about nonhuman animals.

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About Author

Marc Lucht is visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Donna Yarri is associate professor of theology at Alvernia University.


Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Kafka's Hybrids: Thinking Animals and Mirrored Humans Chapter 3. "Czechs, Jews and Dogs Not Allowed": Identity, Boundary and Moral Stance in Kafka's "A Crossbreed" and "Jackals and Arabs" Chapter 4. De-allegorizing Kafka's Ape: Two Animalistic Contexts Chapter 5. Agents of the Forgotten: Animals as the Vehicles of Shame in Kafka Chapter 6. The Difficult Task of Being Real: Odradek, the Kittenlamb, and the Historical Individual Chapter 7. Consolation in Your Neighbour's Fur: On Kafka's Animal Parables Chapter 8. Crowds, Animals, and Aesthetic Language in Kafka's "Josephine" Chapter 9. Performative Emotion in Kafka's "Josephine, the Singer; or, the Mouse Folk" and Freud's "The Creative Writer and Daydreamer" Chapter 10. The Power of the Look: Franz Kafka's "The Cares of a Family Man" Chapter 11. Four Hands Good, Two Hands Bad Chapter 12. Who identified the animal? The rhetoric behind the hybrid in Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and Amerika (The man who disappeared) Chapter 13. The Portrait of an Armor-Plated Sign: Reimagining Samsa's Exoskeleton Chapter 14. Extraterrestrial Kafka: Ahead to the Graphic Novel Chapter 15. Index to Kafka's Use of Creatures in His Writings

Product Details

  • publication date: 03/04/2012
  • ISBN13: 9780739143957
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 316
  • ID: 9780739143957
  • weight: 467
  • ISBN10: 0739143956

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