KAFKA - and the Kafkaesque
I would like to create a discussion concerning the place of FRANZ KAFKA´S works in the literary tradition and also around the Nature of the troubling "Kafkaesque", hopefully refuting the not at all uncommon totally wrongful views of Kafka as a "magical realist," or a "religious mystic," or for that matter a "writer of Jewish parables."
WHAT IF one had a Dream of a Dream and the two of them could communicate?? That is what happens in a Franz Kafka story!
The book Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis deals with Kafka's novels and short stories from the aspect of the Kafkaesaque, and it does so in looking for the means that create this effect. These means turns out to be largely technical. Thus, in this book, Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis, is shown how Kafka uses a narratological split, split consciousness, and SPLIT Unconscious of the hero to create the Kafkaesque by a rare trick.
This new book shows how Kafka became one of the most prominent artists both to create and define Modernity. Kafka took part in the thrilling creation of Self-conscience of the 20ieth century, marked by a constant dialogue with Freud and his works. Self-conscience as Man knew it since St. Augustine, the Italian renaissance writers Erasmus, Shakespeare, and Montaigne, and later with the secular Romantics and Hegel swiftly developed within Modernism into something much more complex, primarily with the appearance of Freud's "Traumdeutung" in the year of 1900. And Kafka - rebutting Schnitzler - then set out to complete it all. The works of Kafka appeared as a reaction to 1.) Modern times, to 2.) his own personal alienation, and to 3.) Freud.
Kafka's answer to Modernity – to the modern condition – was astonishingly complex, but it turned out to be very accurate and accomplished right from the beginning. When other reactions to the Modern Condition, like Hugo Ball, Appolinaire and Dada, displayed a picture of a chaotic and rebel attitude to reason and morals, Kafka, much like Rimbaud actually, showed a far more complex ability to make modern society's human-understandable itself, in a universal narrative. Kafka, in exploring the Unconscious, as by Freud, and in doing so using a Romantic "Ästhetik des Schwebens," is the unique discoverer of the marvels of mind, and is, in this, equal to Freud. Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis sets out to explain how the Kafkaesque itself generates - even today, 100 years after its birth - an interrogation that scrutinizes the Freudian theory and our conception of the unique human consciousness.
Kafka's relation to Freud was somewhat like a son's relation to the father. Hence, Kafka did not acknowledge Freud's discoveries, methods, and notions as truths. But he saw them – ironically enough – as facts. And in a sense, they were. Freud's views were historical facts in their profound influence on Mind and Society the century. Kafka used Freud as part of the ( revealing ) Modern Myth.
Kafka used Freud, but Kafka added on top of Freud´s medel of the human psyche another split to human consciousness in his literary universe. Kafka thus did not "believe in" Freud, but he was fascinated by him. Freud suited Kafka well. Almost too well. He did not look at all to Freud to a great extent, ... did not own several books by Freud ... but he had – like many others – acquired a sort of immediate understanding of Freud's ideas through a kind of everyday osmosis.
Kafka actually started as a writer of lyrical prose, short prose poems in the style of W. Goethe, von Kleist, and G. Flaubert.
But his dream was to write a novel, and it ought to be like the one G. Flaubert in his usual rage once claimed he wanted to write: a lovely book about nothing at all. So it happened that Kafka - not at all being highly intellectual or an eloquent philosopher - developed a technique for writing novels where he was extending a sole situation into a perfectly static ( i.e., nothingy ) drama displaying a struggle between conscious and unconscious. It also seems as he tried to develop the style of Tieck and the Romantics. Using his extraordinary ( perhaps autistic ) sensibility, Kafka's technique miraculously was born on one evening in 1912, writing the short story "The Verdict." The following day, he even asked his fiancée Felice for its meaning. Later, in the same year, with the writing of "The Metamorphosis" and, in 1913, the unfinished "The Trial," his technique of displaying the Kafkaesque was already full-fledged.
Here he - almost FORCED by his own personal and social catastrophe - introduced a pseudo-plot in a kind of pseudo-novel with a story about a split, about a struggle of a conscious instance of a person, shown as a hero-figure battling this person's OWN Unconscious.
As it turned out, this battle caused a second unconscious part to appear in the universe of discourse of this fiction. ( Examples can be found in Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis.)
It seems that the hero-figure, devoid of his Unconscious, HAD TO develop such an unconscious to be able to handle his surrounding world, which was his original Unconscious. Here we thus are having a triadic structure and a strange meeting of two unconscious instances. This fictional condition primarily results in a double exposure of the unconscious and a strange transcendence of the Ego, which cannot easily be reflected upon since it has no equivalent in reality.
This is NOT EASY TO UNDERSTAND!
As a result of this Kafka-technique, which probably was unconscious (!) to Kafka himself, we are also – apart from the nausea of double Unconscious, a kind of the self-consciousness of the Unconscious - experiencing a very intense poetry, depicting utter loneliness in a framework of a sad pseudo-protest, parallell to Weber´s, against the superpower of civil organization and law in general, as well as a hymn of the melancholy beauty of existence the like of which actually nobody else in the 20ieth Century has created: The concept of "Kafkaesque" has been created upon the experience of the works of Kafka by the Collective Mind, and in some yet not quite analyzed way, it also has extended our mode of perception. The concept of the Kafkaesque, and the Kafkaesque itself, AS IRONY, is vital for both the being and the understanding of our culture and being! The questions regarding this concept, raised in Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis questions somewhat elusive, are mainly two: [ 1. ]: what IS the kafkaesque? (…that is caused by this split ) And [ 2. ]: how did Kafka DO to create this, the" Kafkaesque"?
These questions are highly original and deals with ideological, cultural, and psychological matters and tacit knowledge, and complicated issues concerning the ontology of fiction. Perhaps the concept of "Kafka" is an ongoing question in Modernity itself that will prevail no matter how much Kaj Bernh. Genell - and others - keep trying to sort out the problem?....
You are visiting Kaj Bernhard genell real home site, The main subject here is kafka and the kafkaesque and the book, Kafka - a Freudo-Structuralist Analysis.
NOW - also ON AMAZON , in Swedish:
Med koffert och paraply, - Essäer om Franz Kafka
The Lion´s Disease
LISTEN TO CHAPTER ONE!
THE LION´S DISEASE
Kaj Bernhard Genell
Thirty-five-year-old Sam Diggerson ( the NARRATOR ) is hired
as a 3rd officer on m/s Punjab of London. As soon as he is
onboard and the ship has started on his journey to Surabaya,
all of a sudden a Mrs. Williamson gets sick. One-sided blindness
has hit her. But it is no ordinary disease. It turns out
it stays with her and has a strange form. The blindness
alternates from one side to the other side. Continuously.
A lion in a cargo hatch is found to be the source.
Soon, this new, horrendous sickness, which troubles Mrs.
Williamson, is highly contagious. Several others on m/s
Punjab get the disease, and it turns out that the whole
world fears for this, the Lions Disease...
This novel was originally written in English, for then to be translated by the author into his native Swedish idiom:
Ett stort fartyg, en Geared Bulk Carrier, - m/s Punjab - lämnar Londons hamn med, bland mycket annat, ett lejon i lasten. Inte långt efter man kommit ut till havs märker man att det grasserar en alldeles ny sjukdom ombord.
Tredjestyrman Diggerson och Kapten Stork gör under den långa färden till Surabaya sitt bästa för att rädda fartyg, besättning och hela världen från en hotande ny världsepidemi...
FELL´S POINT on Amazon!
The English novel ( ..... under the pen-name of Bill Clactoe ) Fell´s Point.
In Fell´s Point, Baltimore, U.S.A., two women
and a man are investigating the sudden
death of their friend Martha. They meet
with many strange people in their search.
Most remarkable - aside from the
picture they get of Martha herself - perhaps
is the secretness of Captain Longman, Martha´s widower,
who quite suddenly also starts up
a social club for youngsters in Fells
Point. Surprise after surprise reveals to
those who thought they knew Martha...
Kaj Bernh. Genell -
en av författarfondens
stipendiater 2022 -
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