In this Book

Franz Kafka
summary

In Stanley Corngold’s view, the themes and strategies of Kafka’s fiction are generated by a tension between his concern for writing and his growing sense of its arbitrary character. Analyzing Kafka’s work in light of "the necessity of form," which is also a merely formal necessity, Corngold uncovers the fundamental paradox of Kafka’s art and life. The first section of the book shows how Kafka’s rhetoric may be understood as the daring project of a man compelled to live his life as literature. In the central part of the book, Corngold reflects on the place of Kafka within the modern tradition, discussing such influential precursors of Cervantes, Flaubert, and Nietzsche, whose works display a comparable narrative disruption. Kafka’s distinctive narrative strategies, Corngold points out, demand interpretation at the same time they resist it. Critics of Kafka, he says, must be aware that their approaches are guided by the principles that Kafka’s fiction identifies, dramatizes, and rejects.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Epigraph
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Abbreviations for Kafka Citations
  2. pp. xix-xxii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Part I. Kafka's Career
  1. 1. '"You,' I Said . . . ": Kafka Early and Late
  2. pp. 13-23
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  1. 2. The Hermeneutic of "The Judgment"
  2. pp. 24-46
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  1. 3. The Metamorphosis: Metamorphosis of the Metaphor
  2. pp. 47-89
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  1. 4. Metaphor and Chiasm
  2. pp. 90-104
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  1. 5. Kafka's Double Helix
  2. pp. 105-136
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  1. Part II. Kafka's Context
  1. 6. Kafka, Nietzsche, and the Question of Literary History
  2. pp. 139-164
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  1. 7. Consternation: The Anthropological Moment in Prose Fiction (Cervantes, Flaubert, Kafka)
  2. pp. 165-202
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  1. 8. The Curtain Half Drawn: Prereading in Flaubert and Kafka
  2. pp. 203-227
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  1. 9. The Trial/"In the Penal Colony": The Rigors of Writing
  2. pp. 228-249
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  1. 10. Kafka as Expressionist
  2. pp. 250-288
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  1. Excursus on Method
  1. 11. Principles of Kafka Interpretation
  2. pp. 291-298
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  1. 12. "The Pure Expression": An Exemplary Reading of Kafka
  2. pp. 299-312
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 313-321
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