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Title: Constellations : authorship and authority in Franz Kafka’s short prose
Author: Pressley, Daniel Lawrence
ISNI:       0000 0004 2671 2217
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2008
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More than eighty years after the death of its author, Kafka fiction continues to stimulate diverse critical interest: only Shakespeare has generated more publications, more biographies or indeed more PhD theses. In recent years, scholarship has recognised the irreducible, polysemantic nature of Kafka’s writing as a stimulus for this regenerative criticism. Another factor is the author himself, along with his well-known biography. Particularly in published monographs, Franz Kafka’s life story has attracted almost as much attention as the fiction he produced. Thus, unusually for a writer whose works have been so thoroughly dissected by criticism, Franz Kafka seems to have survived the so-called death of the author, promulgated throughout literary theory. This thesis highlights a tension between these two stimuli; between the elusive multivocality of Kafka’s fiction and the ongoing influence of the author. It argues that mythologies about Kafka have now outlived their usefulness, and suggests that greater attentiveness to theoretical insights might benefit the field. Accordingly, this study proposes new ways of looking at Kafka which marginalise the influence of the author and related approaches to his fiction. In its investigation of authority as a theme of Kafka’s writing, this volume repositions Kafka’s fictional and non-fictional output within new and established contexts, exploring philosophical and critical dimensions of the oeuvre. In so doing, it asks what Kafka can teach us about our reading of Kafka, our reading of theory and reading in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Isle of Man. Dept. of Education (IMDoE)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PT Germanic literature