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Kafka and Noise: The Discovery of Cinematic Sound in Literary Modernism

Kafka and Noise: The Discovery of Cinematic Sound in Literary Modernism

By Kata Gellen

“For any reader captivated by the curious persistence of strange sounds in Kafka’s work, the consequences of Gellen’s work simply for understanding Kafka’s are exciting in themselves.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

"Given its interdisciplinary character, Kafka and Noise will be of interest to Kafka scholars, modernists, literary critics, film scholars, and those working in sound studies and animal studies. This book is sure to stimulate cross-disciplinary dialogue and inspire a reconsideration of the disruptive, unsettling noises in the diegetic worlds of Kafka's stories."—Holly Yanacek, German Studies Review

A series of disruptive, unnerving sounds haunts the fictional writings of Franz Kafka. These include the painful squeak in Gregor Samsa's voice, the indeterminate whistling of Josefine the singer, the relentless noise in "The Burrow," and telephonic disturbances in The Castle. In Kafka and Noise, Kata Gellen applies concepts and vocabulary from film theory to Kafka's works in order to account for these unsettling sounds. Rather than try to decode these noises, Gellen explores the complex role they play in Kafka's larger project.
Kafka and Noise offers a method for pursuing intermedial research in the humanities—namely, via the productive "misapplication" of theoretical tools, which exposes the contours, conditions, and expressive possibilities of the media in question. This book will be of interest to scholars of modernism, literature, cinema, and sound, as well as to anyone wishing to explore how artistic and technological media shape our experience of the world and the possibilities for representing it.

264 pages
Northwestern University Press, 2019
6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
ISBN 9780810138933
Literary Criticism

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