2011 Abstracts Stage 3

How Are Franz Kafka’s Novels Ethical?

Anna Grace Kawalek, 2011, Stage 3

Aim: I aim to demonstrate how Blanchot’s ethics can be found within literature. Specifically, in Kafka’s work.

Philosophy: death of a subject is, ultimately, Blanchot’s ethics. It is instigated by the interruption of the ‘Il y a’. Here, all former values (everydayness) is replaced by those of the other (otherness). This motion is mimicked in literature, particularly in Kafka’s work. My project will assess why.

Anti-thesis: Is Kafka’s work symbolic (stubbornly independent) or allegorical (autobiographical)? That is, is Kafka himself present throughout his work?

I will argue that Kafka’s work is allegorical; he is everywhere in his work.

Blanchot’s Texts: Reading Kafka, Kafka and Literature, The Language of Fiction Literature and the Right to Death, Death Sentence.
Heidegger’s Texts: Why Poets?, On the Essence of Truth, The Origin of the Work of Art, Way to Language.
Kafka’s texts: The Trial, The Castle, Metamorphosis.

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