A Franz Kafka Encyclopedia by Richard T. Gray, Ruth V. Gross, Rolf J. Goebel, Clayton

By Richard T. Gray, Ruth V. Gross, Rolf J. Goebel, Clayton Koelb

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Known for depicting alienation, frustration, and the victimization of the person via impenetrable bureaucracies, Kafka's works have given upward push to the time period Kafkaesque. This encyclopedia info Kafka's existence and writings.

Included are greater than 800 alphabetically prepared entries on his works, characters, relatives and associates, subject matters, and different subject matters. lots of the entries cite works for additional interpreting, and the Encyclopedia closes with a specific, common bibliography.

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To make it easier for those who do not read German to find the appropriate entry on an individual text, we have included a list of English titles, arranged alphabetically and providing the corresponding German original. Major works are also cross-referenced by English title in the body of the Encyclopedia. To facilitate the identification of characters, we have arranged them, like a list of dramatis personae, according to the work in which they appear, with the works themselves ordered alphabetically by their German title.

For Kafka, Kierkegaard's heroic interpretation neglects the ordinary human nature of Abraham. In a letter to Robert Klopstock of June 1921, Kafka imagines "another" Abraham, one who could not attain the status of patriarch and would even be incapable of becoming a peddler of old clothes; although willing and subservient as a restaurant waiter, he would be unable to carry out the sacrifice because of his inability to free himself from the trivial duties of his unfinished home. Here, Kierkegaard's idealization of Abraham's religious faith turns into a form of secularized social opportunism and selfconfinement.

In keeping with this aim, the Encyclopedia contains, among other things, (1) synopses of all of Kafka's fictional works, as well as his published and unpublished essays; (2) brief descriptions of the primary characters of his fictional texts; (3) information about his literary notebooks, diaries, and epistolary correspondence; (4) discussions of the published editions of his works; (5) explanations of his relationships with family members, friends, and significant contemporaries; (6) descriptions of his reception of major writers, artists, and thinkers; (7) information about Kafka's life and the intellectual climate in his native Prague; and, finally, (8) the elucidation of literary-historical terms, cultural concepts, and textual motifs that are central to his writing.

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