From Kafka to Sebald: Modernism and Narrative Form by Sabine Wilke

By Sabine Wilke

This quantity is a reaction to a renewed curiosity in narrative shape in modern literary reviews, taking over the query of literary narratives and their encounters with modernism and postmodernism in the German-language milieu. unique essays written by means of students of German and Comparative Literature method the difficulty of narrative shape anew, interpreting the ways that modernist and postmodernist German-language narratives body and/or deconstruct ancient narratives. starting with the German-language modernist writer par excellence, Franz Kafka, the volume's essays discover the original point of view on old switch provided via literature. The authors (Kafka, Kappacher, Goll, Bernhard, Menasse, and Wolf, between others) and works interpreted within the essays incorporated right here span the interval from prior to international conflict I to the post-Holocaust, post-Wall current. person essays specialise in modernism, postmodernism, narrative concept, and autobiography.

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Things have something to do with one another; they are not assuredly the same; they are not entirely different; so what relation between them would be thinkable? One is probably the other. They are probably but not provably the same. To take this matter further, one would rightly be drawn into the world of Kafka’s professional writings, in which he is expert in risk insurance based on laws of probability. But that is another order of reference, whose proper treatment would burst the bounds of this essay.

Stuttgart: Metzler, 1976. Burnett, Jacob. “Strange Loops and the Absent Center in The Castle”. In Kafka for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Stanley Corngold and Ruth V. Gross. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011. Calasso, Robert. K. New York: Vintage, 2006. Corngold, Stanley. “Something to Do with the Truth: Kafka’s Later Stories”. In Lambent Traces: Franz Kafka, 111–25. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004. —and Ruth V. Gross. Kafka for the Twenty-First Century. Rochester, NY: Camden House, 2011.

These contradictions may help explain why the characterizations of the activities of Kafka’s protagonist oscillate between the poles of autonomous art and paid profession, between purity and commerce, between “Berufung” and “Beruf”. Of course, the repeated references to the hunger artist’s trade as an art (“Kunst”) only imperfectly obscure the fact that he is, in the end, a frustrated employee who feels under-appreciated by the world. While the hunger artist is not shown to be part of a nuclear family, he and the impresario do engage in a joint venture.

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