In this Book

Kafka's Ethics of Interpretation refutes the oft-repeated claim, made by Kafka's greatest interpreters, including Walter Benjamin and Harold Bloom, that Kafka sought to evade interpretation of his writings. Jennifer L. Geddes shows that this claim about Kafka's deliberate uninterpretability is not only wrong, it also misconstrues a central concern of his work. Kafka was not trying to avoid or prevent interpretation; rather, his works are centrally concerned with it.

Geddes explores the interpretation that takes place within, and in response to, Kafka's writings, and pairs Kafka's works with readings of Sigmund Freud, Pierre Bourdieu, Tzvetan Todorov, Emmanuel Levinas, and others. She argues that Kafka explores interpretation as a mode of power and violence, but also as a mode of engagement with the world and others. Kafka, she argues, challenges us to rethink the ways we read texts, engage others, and navigate the world through our interpretations of them.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-iv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 3-20
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 1. The Tyranny of Simplicity and the Fantasy of Completion: Kafka’s “Letter to His Father” and Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams
  2. pp. 21-50
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The Power of Interpretation and the Interpretation of Power: Kafka’s “The Judgment” and Bourdieu’s Social Theory
  2. pp. 51-74
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. The Virtue of Hesitation and the Temptation of Resolution: Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” and Todorov’s Fantastic
  2. pp. 75-108
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. The Ethics of Attention and the Meaning of Pain: Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony” and Levinas’s “Useless Suffering”
  2. pp. 109-136
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. A Concluding Note
  2. pp. 137-140
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 141-156
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 157-162
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 163-165
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.