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Title: Portrait of an artist as an insurance lawyer : Kafka's Amtliche Schriften and their relationship to his creative work
Author: Davies, J. R.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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Abstract:
The Amtliche Schriften, published for the first time in their entirety by Klaus Hermsdorf in 1984, are not only distinguished informed pieces in their own right but an integral part of Kafka's output and life. They document the daily work at the Arbeiter-Unfall-Versicherungs-Anstalt which constitutes the conditions and substance for much of Kafka's creative writing. Conversely Kafka brought to his professional work: his Reports, 'Dienstreisen', court-case representations, prescription of safety measures, negotiations with State, Institute and manufacturers, his legal training, an analytical disposition, succinct persuasive prose and a basic, innate preoccupation with justice and authority that informs all his work. My first section covers Kafka's working years. It details the scope of his work, his seniors' assessments, his promotions, degree of commitment, pressures on his time, the effects of the war-years and his indispensability to the Institute, his deterioration into fatal illness in 1917, his last years and death in 1924. The second examines the business Reports and Letters, giving important reasons for reading them. These are technically informed, sociological, lawyerly documents which had reformative aims and effects and a positive optimistic tone rare in Kafka as he acts as judge, advocate, strategist and negotiator, even critic. The reports provide thematic and linguistic material; the letters reveal less well-known aspects of Kafka, his modesty, yet persuasive persistence in safeguarding his financial security. The ensuing sections examine the effects on the creative work of the 'Dienstreisen', the experience of industry and technology, and the image of the bureaucratic 'Apparat'. The latter is hard to separate from Kafka the 'Beamte'. The last sections concern Kafka's preoccupations with justice and authority, conditioning both his reformative legal work and his creative work. They explore Kafka's relation to social justice and probe some of the roots of his attitudes, from his upbringing to his Judaic heritage.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.636393  DOI: Not available
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