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

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-06-22
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
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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.

Author Biography

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

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 3
Kafka's Hybrids: Thinking Animals and Mirrored Humansp. 17
"Czechs, Jews and Dogs Not Allowed": Identity, Boundary, and Moral Stance in Kafka's "A Crossbreed" and "Jackals and Arabs"p. 33
De-allegorizing Kafka's Ape: Two Animalistic Contextsp. 53
Agents of the Forgotten: Animals as the Vehicles of Shame in Kafkap. 67
The Difficult Task of Being Real: Odradek, the Kittenlamb, and the Historical Individualp. 81
Consolation in Your Neighbor's Fur: On Kafka's Animal Parablesp. 101
Crowds, Animality, and Aesthetic Language in Kafka's "Josephine"p. 119
Performative Emotion in Kafka's "Josephine, the Singer; or, the Mouse Folk" and Freud's "The Creative Writer and Daydreaming"p. 137
The Power of the Look: Franz Kafka's "The Cares of a Family Man"p. 157
Four Hands Good, Two Hands Badp. 175
Who Identified the Animal? Hybridity and Body Politics in Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" and Amerika (The Man Who Disappeared)p. 191
The Portrait of an Armor-Plated Sign: Reimagining Samsa's Exoskeletonp. 211
Extraterrestrial Kafka: Ahead to the Graphic Novelp. 237
Index to Kafka's Use of Creatures in his Writingsp. 269
Indexp. 285
About the Contributorsp. 293
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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