Kafka's The Trial

Kafka's The Trial : Philosophical Perspectives

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Description

Kafka's novel The Trial, written from 1914 to 1915 and published in 1925, is a multi-faceted, notoriously difficult manifestation of European literary modernism, and one of the most emblematic books of the 20th Century. It tells the story of Josef K., a man accused of a crime he has no recollection of committing and whose nature is never revealed to him. The novel is often interpreted theologically as an expression of radical nihilism and a world abandoned
by God. It is also read as a parable of the cold, inhumane rationality of modern bureaucratization. Like many other novels of this turbulent period, it offers a tragic quest-narrative in which the hero searches for truth and clarity (whether about himself, or the anonymous system he is facing), only to fall
into greater and greater confusion.

This collection of nine new essays and an editor's introduction brings together Kafka experts, intellectual historians, literary scholars, and philosophers in order to explore the novel's philosophical and theological significance. Authors pursue the novel's central concerns of justice, law, resistance, ethics, alienation, and subjectivity. Few novels display human uncertainty and skepticism in the face of rapid modernization, or the metaphysical as it intersects with the most mundane aspects
of everyday life, more insistently than The Trial.

Ultimately, the essays in this collection focus on how Kafka's text is in fact philosophical in the ways in which it achieves its literary aims. Rather than considering ideas as externally related to the text, the text is considered philosophical at the very level of literary form and technique.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 141 x 209 x 18mm | 356g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0190461446
  • 9780190461447
  • 1,959,581

Table of contents

Introduction Espen Hammer

1. Kafka's Inverse Theology Peter E. Gordon
2. Before the Law Fred Rush
3. On the Ethical Character of Literature John Gibson
4. A Disease of All Signification: Kafka's The Trial Between Adorno and Agamben Gerhard Richter
5. Unfettering the Future: Estrangement and Ambiguity in The Trial, Iain Macdonald
6. The Trouble with Time: Kafka's Der Process, Anne Fuchs
7. Judges, Heathscapes, and Hazardous Quarries: Kafka and the Repetitive Image-Series Howard Caygill
8. Kafka's Modernism: Intelligibility and Voice in The Trial, Espen Hammer
9. Displacements on a Pathless Terrain: On Reading Kafka's Der Process, Elizabeth S. Goodstein
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Review Text

the work is an excellent resource for the interdisciplinary audience at which is aimed, students and scholars in the fields of literary aesthetics and modernist literature, and a strong addition to Oxford's Studies in Philosophy and Literature. Rafe McGregor, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
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Review quote

the work is an excellent resource for the interdisciplinary audience at which is aimed, students and scholars in the fields of literary aesthetics and modernist literature, and a strong addition to Oxford's Studies in Philosophy and Literature. * Rafe McGregor, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *
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About Espen Hammer

Espen Hammer is a Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, Philadelphia. A former Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the University of Frankfurt, he has held professorships at the University of Essex (UK) and the University of Oslo, Norway, and been a Visiting Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the New School for Social Research. He is the author of numerous books and articles.
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