Kafka as "the Modern Man" = = "K."

1 reply, 1 voice Last updated by  Phillip Lundberg 2 years, 10 months ago
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  • #2325

    Phillip Lundberg
    Participant
    @phlundberg

    Well, (not that I’m Jewish but I do have a sense of humor!) – I am simply letting it be known that in the Group – Philosophical Approaches to Literature – there is a new forum on Kafka’s Ontology-Death & Life in the Modern World – which may perhaps be of interest.

    Phillip Lundberg – translator:  Essential Kafka, Nine Stories & 3 Excerpts!

    #1012475

    Phillip Lundberg
    Participant
    @phlundberg

    From Walter Sokel’s famous Kafka Study – Fr. K. Tragik & Ironie:

    “If Kafka’s writings have a prophetic ring to them, so it is because he made the split {Spaltung} of contemporary human consciousness into two conflicting aspects, namely the decent, respectable façade that we all are quite comfortable displaying and, on the other hand, the horror filled underbelly of all that is detestable regarding which hardly anybody is particularly eager to discuss:  Kafka made this split the structure within which his works are enveloped.  Josef K.—read modern man par excellence—becomes a beast {Hund} because he insists upon upholding the court {das Gericht}.  With his shame-ful covering up of reality, so he goes about not only defending his good cosmopolitan reputation and proves his readiness to sacrifice human life in the name of an ‘enlightened humanity,’ rather too he demonstrates his hidden love for torture and murder which, in that they are able to thrive, go beyond being merely low level criminal aberrations.  Josef K. doesn’t allow the illegal proceedings that surround him to come to light and not even then as he himself is being dragged off by ‘bad actors’!  In this last chapter as he is en route to his demise he goes so far as to protect his executioners, who hold him in their iron grip, from the police—just as earlier on [in Chapter Five] he kept the lid on what was transpiring in the rumple room so as to keep his fellow bank affiliates unaware of the horrific beating that was happening practically right under their noses.  When a large segment of European citizenry built up a Wall of Silence around the beatings and murder and did all that they could to look the other way, so it is basically the same as the panic exemplified by Josef K. ”                                             {p. 230}  [my italics]

    Hoping to awaken some interest in this modern malaise…. if anyone might have the time….

    PL.

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