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GE214 The Strange World of Franz Kafka's Short Stories

Module Code: GE214
Module Name: The Strange World of Franz Kafka's Short Stories
Module Coordinator: Professor Elisabeth Herrmann
2021-22, Term 1: Tuesday, 1-3 pm, H0.67
Module Credits: 15

Module Description

The uncompromising modernity of Kafka’s writing has fascinated generations of readers across the world. His fiction has added the word Kafkaesque to the English dictionary for the experience of an obscure and dislocating modernity. A vast body of criticism concerns the question of how to read a body of writing that upsets many of the reader’s conventional expectations about meaning-making. In this module we will analyse how Kafka employs realist, symbolist and allegorical frames of reference in order to challenge the very notion of stable meaning. You will study a selection of Kafka’s short stories with reference to the following themes: narrative perspective; authority, law and justice; gender roles; performance art and Kafka’s animals. The module is optional for students on all degrees and runs over one term.

Indicative Reading

In class we will be using the following edition: Franz Kafka, Die Erzählungen (Fischer TB).

For selection of texts and weekly schedule please check the Moodle webpage link on the right top.

Assessment Method:

1200 word critical review of secondary source (20%)

Contribution component (10%)

Take-home examination,120 min (70%)