Stormløb mod grænsen: Det politiske hos Franz Kafka

Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review


Franz Kafka found fame in the years after World War II. In the shadow of the short 20th Century, with its totalitarianism and impend-ing nuclear war, it felt natural to interpret Kaf-ka’s works as depictions of a world determined by destiny. The well-known notion of the "Kafkaesque" is imbued with a political ontol-ogy, a fundamental image of the order of things, drawing a border between the power-less human subject and indifferent objective forces. On the one hand we find nurturing, breathing, concrete human life; on the other hand we find the cold and abstract rigidity enforced by sinister bureaucratic organisations. The majority of Kafka critics disagree about how to interpret these objective forces – whether they are divine, moral, psychological, existential, disciplinary, or simply bureaucratic. Yet they more or less all agree that such forces are irrational, unpredictable, and immutable, just like destiny. According to this destinalizing image of Kafka, his works bear witness to a social world in which political change is impos-sible.
In Assault on the Border, I attempt to save Kafka from the shadows of the Cold War. Par-adoxically, I argue, Kafka's literary works are not Kafkaesque.
Original languageDanish
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
Number of pages469
ISBN (Print)9788702166798
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Franz Kafka, Politik, Hannah Arendt, fremmedgørelse, Litteraturteori, Kunstteori

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