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Kafkas betten: raum-körper-chiffre

Rieger, J.C.; (2012) Kafkas betten: raum-körper-chiffre. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The study offers a close reading of bed scenes in Kafka’s texts and analyses their semantics and their function on both the first and the secondary level of fiction. The bed is initially seen as a motif of space, then as a metaphor of the body, and finally as a chiffre for Kafka’s writing itself. The dissertation shows that Kafka’s beds can not only be linked to the widely discussed topics of power, guilt and desire in Kafka’s works, but also represent highly subversive elements within Kafka’s oeuvre. While the close reading of texts is at the centre of this study, it also makes productive use of theories by Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. The study traces the meaning of beds through a cross-reading of Kafka’s literary texts and personal writings. The aim here is not to naïvely combine plots and biography but to understand diary entries and letters as already fictionalised writings. The emphasis is on the different contexts in which beds appear, the different ways in which they can be read, and similarities between texts in order to show coherence between texts and the development of a single motif which allows us to read Kafka’s oeuvre not only for meaning, but also for intratextuality and interpretive ‘links’ contained in the texts themselves. The final outlook leaves the bed behind and promotes a playful reading of Kafka (which will be shown to be indirectly suggested in many of his texts) as well as an understanding of interpretation that aims to be close to the original but makes appropriate and creative use of theory in order to communicate with a text via another text.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Kafkas betten: raum-körper-chiffre
Language:German
Additional information:Permission for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of EU Langs, Culture and Society > German

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