29 may. 2018

Elípticas sobre ‘El Proceso’ de Kafka

 

Kafka's The Trial
Philosophical Perspectives
Espen Hammer (ed.)
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018, 312 pp.
ISBN: 9780190461447


Kafka's novel The Trial, written from 1914 to 1915 and published in 1925, is a multi-faceted, notoriously difficult manifestation of European literary modernism, and one of the most emblematic books of the 20th Century. It tells the story of Josef K., a man accused of a crime he has no recollection of committing and whose nature is never revealed to him. The novel is often interpreted theologically as an expression of radical nihilism and a world abandoned by God. It is also read as a parable of the cold, inhumane rationality of modern bureaucratization. Like many other novels of this turbulent period, it offers a tragic quest-narrative in which the hero searches for truth and clarity (whether about himself, or the anonymous system he is facing), only to fall into greater and greater confusion.
This collection of nine new essays and an editor's introduction brings together Kafka experts, intellectual historians, literary scholars, and philosophers in order to explore the novel's philosophical and theological significance. Authors pursue the novel's central concerns of justice, law, resistance, ethics, alienation, and subjectivity. Few novels display human uncertainty and skepticism in the face of rapid modernization, or the metaphysical as it intersects with the most mundane aspects of everyday life, more insistently than The Trial.
Ultimately, the essays in this collection focus on how Kafka's text is in fact philosophical in the ways in which it achieves its literary aims. Rather than considering ideas as externally related to the text, the text is considered philosophical at the very level of literary form and technique.

 
Introduction Espen Hammer
1. Kafka's Inverse Theology. Peter E. Gordon
2. Before the Law Fred Rush
3. On the Ethical Character of Literature. John Gibson
4. A Disease of All Signification: Kafka's The Trial Between Adorno and Agamben. Gerhard Richter
5. Unfettering the Future: Estrangement and Ambiguity in The Trial. Iain Macdonald
6. The Trouble with Time: Kafka's Der Proceß. Anne Fuchs
7. Judges, Heathscapes, and Hazardous Quarries: Kafka and the Repetitive Image-Series. Howard Caygill
8. Kafka's Modernism: Intelligibility and Voice in The Trial. Espen Hammer
9. Displacements on a Pathless Terrain: On Reading Kafka's Der Proceß. Elizabeth S. Goodstein

 

Anne Fuchs (Professor and Director of the Humanities Institute at University College Dublin)
John Gibson (Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Commonwealth Center for Humanities at the University of Louisville)
Fred Rush (Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame)
Elizabeth Goodstein (Professor of English and the Liberal Arts at Emory University)
Peter E. Gordon (Amabel B. James Professor of History at Harvard University)
Iain Macdonald (Professor of Philosophy at the Université de Montréal)
Gerhard Richter (Professor of philosophy at Brown University)
Espen Hammer (Professor of Philosophy at Temple University, Philadelphia)
Howard Caygill (Professor of Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy at Kingston University and Visiting Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Paris 8)


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"«¿Defecto físico?», preguntó K. «Sí», dijo Leni, «pues yo tengo un pequeño defecto; mire». Y separo el dedo medio y el índice de su mano derecha, entre los que la membrana conjuntiva llegaba hasta la falange superior de los cortos dedos." Cf. Franz Kafka, El proceso.
Creo que quizá no debiéramos de dejar tan de la mano aquella a advertencia de Adorno en la que señalaba con el dedo: "El que los dedos de Leni estén unidos por una membrana o que los ejecutores parezcan tenores, es más importante que el excurso sobre la ley."
 
J.C.G.




The Trial (1962). Orson Welles, dir. 

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