Lessons from Kafka

Philosophical Readings of Franz Kafka’s Works

Tomáš Koblížek, Petr Koťátko (eds.)

Samuel Beckett attempted to show what one can do, feel, express and expect in the situation of universal chaos. Franz Kafka, on the contrary, confronts us with the urgent question of what chances of mutual understanding and meaningful action there are in a rigidly organized world. This volume focuses on the ways in which Kafka’s readers are introduced into his world: in particular, on the detailed descriptions and obsessively pedantic analyses typically provided by Kafka’s characters. On the one hand, they create an illusion of a reliable orientation within the system. On the other hand, the more elaborate these analyses are, the more clearly they demonstrate that the system, by its very nature, resists understanding and leaves no space for an agent following their own aims. The most disquieting related question is: why does the world presented in this deeply paradoxical way arouse simultaneous feelings of strangeness and familiarity?

vyjde: 2021