Chapter

Bodies

Ritchie Robertson

in Kafka

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780192804556
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191775987 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/actrade/9780192804556.003.0003

Series: Very Short Introductions

Bodies

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The division between the mind and the body is a central theme in Western culture. Kafka dramatized this division by inserting the mind of a stressed employee into the body of a huge insect. ‘Bodies’ looks at this tradition in Kafka's writing which stems from a long-standing Christian dualism of soul and body and the philosophical tradition of rationalism. In addition to the story of Gregor's bodily transformation, the theme of the body appears elsewhere in Kafka's fiction. Fasting is central to Kafka's imagination as a means of abandoning the physical world and perhaps entering a spiritual one. Also, the body's potential for violence is closely linked in his writing to sexuality.

Keywords: Charles Dickens; Gustave Flaubert; Franz Kafka; Thomas Mann; Friedrich Nietzsche

Chapter.  6663 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Fiction, Novelists, and Prose Writers)

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