Kafka and photography by Carolin Duttlinger

By Carolin Duttlinger

"By some distance the main usually and largely mentioned visible medium in Kafka's texts, images is paradigmatic of his courting to visuality extra quite often. This learn not just explores photography's recurrence as a subject inside his texts however it can also be the 1st to take systematic account of Kafka's use of pictures as literary resource material." "Kafka and images provides probably the most important Read more...

summary: "By a long way the main often and widely mentioned visible medium in Kafka's texts, images is paradigmatic of his courting to visuality extra mostly. This learn not just explores photography's recurrence as a subject inside his texts however it is additionally the 1st to take systematic account of Kafka's use of images as literary resource material." "Kafka and images provides some of the most vital smooth writers from a completely new standpoint; it sheds new mild on favourite works and uncovers unexplored points of Kafka's engagement together with his time and context. delivering a chronological account of key prose works, in addition to the non-public writings, this research is offered to scholars and lay readers. will probably be of curiosity not just to literary students but additionally to these operating in images, media, and cultural reviews. Its exact textual analyses are set opposed to a richly documented ancient context which illustrates Kafka's curiosity in modern tradition via quite a number visible fabric taken from public in addition to deepest assets - a few of which has only in the near past develop into on hand. As this e-book demonstrates, images had a profound influence on Kafka's literary mind's eye and as such is helping to provide an explanation for the spell binding depth of enigmatic visible aspect that is a trademark of his narratives."--Jacket

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Indeed, encounters with photography, film, ⁴ Freud, Unbehagen, 451; Civilization, 92–3. ⁵ The importance of the early diaries for Kafka’s literary development can hardly be overestimated. As Max Brod recalls, the diary Kafka kept in his daily life, and in particular on his travels, provided him with a training ground for description, 36 From Film to Photography and stereoscopy not only yield ample thematic material, but also shape his literary style, as well as inspiring more general reflections about the relationship between vision and writing, literature and technology.

For Freud, the incomplete fusion of the body and its prosthetic extensions exposes the limits of both technology and the human subject. In Kafka’s dream, in contrast, the optical device has actually merged with the body, yet rather than assuaging such anxieties, this fusion reveals the traumatic implications of technological progress, which challenges the physical and mental boundaries of the individual, highlighting the inherent inadequacies of his sensory apparatus. Kafka’s dream is exemplary of his recurrent concern with vision and blindness.

While the image encapsulates the culture of an age, its emblematic significance would be neutralized by a conventional form of interpretation. Revealingly, Adorno uses a photographic metaphor to describe this interpretative dynamic; the effect of synthesizing interpretation is likened to a photographic flash which, while illuminating the picture in its totality, would simultaneously neutralize its details, tensions, and ambiguities. In his letter, Adorno thus attributes the role of photographer to both the critic and the author, whose texts he compares to a photograph recorded from the hereafter.

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