A New Essay for Berfrois: “Bewildered and Bewildering: Animal Life and Jewishness in James Joyce, Franz Kafka and Shalom Auslander”

This morning Berfrois published a piece I wrote entitled “Bewildered and Bewildering: Animal Life and Jewishness in James Joyce, Franz Kafka and Shalom Auslander” As one can see from the article it addresses “animal life” – a term borrowed from the philosopher GWF Hegel but used by Girogio Agamben and a tradition that threads its […]

Conversations in the Mountains between Franz Kafka and Paul Celan – Part II

I ended the last blog entry by drawing a limit or threshold between Kafka’s conversation and Nietzsche’s singing.   To be sure, Kafka, at the end of his piece, wonders why his group of nobodies isn’t singing.  Their conversation in the mountains is “free” like the winds but it doesn’t break into song, while Nietzsche’s speech […]

Conversations in the Mountains between Franz Kafka and Paul Celan – Part I

For Friedrich Nietzsche, the place to clear out one’s mind and find oneself or one’s calling (so to speak) is in the mountains.   In Thus Spake Zarathustra, the main figure, Zarathustra, goes into the mountains and has his epiphany.  In the mountains, Zarathustra takes on the serious task of becoming himself.  However, he also learns […]

“Is Franz Here?” Kafka’s Revision and Personalization of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav’s Schlemiel Narrative

Kafka read the Hasidic masters by way of Martin Buber’s translations. And of the Hasidic masters he read, Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav was, without a doubt, the most literary.   As Ruth Wisse and David Roskies point out, he made the Hasidic story (or parable) into something literary rather than something merely anecdotal.   To be sure, […]

A Note on Franzlations: The Imaginary Kafka Parables

Schlemielintheory.com has hosted and posted many blog entries on Franz Kafka.  I have had a guest post by Matthue Roth on his very popular book My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a guest post on Walter Benjamin’s reading of Franz Kafka by Hillel Broder, and more than ten of my own posts on […]