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The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority

The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority

The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority

By Costas Despiniadis
Translated by Stelios Kapsomenos

"This book is a rare event: a political—in the noblest meaning of the word—interpretation of Kafka’s writings. Even better, it is an anarchist reading, against the grain of the conformist academic prose on the author of The Trial. Despiniadis brings together, with admirable talent, literature, philosophy, and contemporary revolutionary issues."—Michael Löwy, author of Franz Kafka, subversive dreamer, University of Michigan Press, 2016

The study of Franz Kafka’s work has seen a steady rise in past decades, with interest broad and growing. With its breadth of sources and bold interpretation, Franz Kafka: The Anatomist of Power is a fascinating new look at one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. Of interest to both academic and public audiences, his work spans multiple disciplines, including literature, gender studies, Jewish studies, modern history, and political theory.

Although Kafka has been established for many years as a leading light of Western literature, and interest in his writings continue to grow, no work has yet fully focused on Kafka’s criticism of power institutions in his literary work. The anti-authoritarian dimension of Kafka's work, long silenced in established criticism, is explored for the first time in this book.

Supported by a close reading of Kafka's diaries, this book reconstructs Kafka's active participation in Prague’s anarchist circles between 1909-1912, discussing his wide interest in anarchist authors, his skepticism towards the Russian Revolution, and his ambivalent relationship with Utopian Zionism.

148 pages
Black Rose Books, 2018
5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
ISBN 9781551646565
Literature Criticism 

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