restricted access Kafka's Golem


This articles examines two of Franz Kafka's lesser-known fragments in light of the Prague Golem legend and its popularity in the early twentieth century: a brief story about a rabbi's attempt to make a clay man in his house and the tale of a mysterious animal that lives in a provincial synagogue. By tracing threads of narrative continuity between these fragments, which are the only explicitly Jewish tales in Kafka's corpus, and with earlier versions of the Golem tradition that were available to Kafka, the article illuminates his deep engagement with Jewish storytelling traditions. At the same time, the complex textual history of the fragments is shown to be integral to their interpretation.