Critical Conditions: The Signature of the Wound in Franz Kafka's Shorter Fiction
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This dissertation explores the significance of wounds in four short texts by Franz Kafka: "Ein Landarzt," "Das Urteil," Ein Bericht für eine Akademie," and "Prometheus." Rather than reduce the metaphor of the wound to biographical or psychoanalytic principles, two approaches that have predominated scholarship on these texts, this study examines how the wound promotes a critical undecidability in Kafka's language: a condition in which body and body of text demand and defy "treatment" on several levels. Using a variety of rhetorical, narratological, and philological evidence, this dissertation argues how woundedness functions as a "critical condition" in these texts that paradoxically extends and enriches their interpretive life -- an openness that resists closure of any form.
- German