Chapter

Kafka's Law: In the Field of Forces Between Judaism and Hellenism

Rodolphe Gasché

in The Stelliferous Fold

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234349
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823241279 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823234349.003.0012
Kafka's Law: In the Field of Forces Between Judaism and Hellenism

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Alexander Pushkin's story on Potemkin, as retold by Walter Benjamin in Franz Kafka, is said to storm like a herald two hundred years ahead of Kafka's work. Not only is Potemkin characterized as an ancestor of the somnolent and unkempt holders of power in Kafka's work, but the world of offices and registries in the story is held to be no different from that of Kafka's world, and Pushkin's character Shuvalkin is considered the same as K. More precisely, what makes Pushkin's story the forerunner of Kafka's world and work for Benjamin, is that the enigma which beclouds this story is Kafka's enigma・. However, to associate the flocculating enigma in both Pushkin's story and Kafka's works with the question of the law, as this chapter does here, may seem precipitate considering Benjamin's reservations concerning the very notion of the law.

Keywords: Potemkin; Kafka's work; Pushkin's character; Shuvalkin; Benjamin's reservations

Chapter.  13680 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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