venerdì 25 novembre 2011
Carl Curtis - Justice, Punishment, and Docile Bodies: Michel Foucault and the Fiction of Franz Kafka. [Paperback, Sept. 2011]
Franz Kafka and Michel Foucault, two incredibly dissimilar men, approach many of the same topics including alienation, institutional power, the phenomenon of the body, death and authorship, the limitations of literature and language. However, a review of the literature of the two figures has discovered little more than an occasional academic nod recognizing the literary relationship, but nothing offering solid exegesis. This dissertation is concerned with perhaps the most obvious parallel: the authors' characterizations of law, justice, and punishment and their corresponding relationships with discourse, knowledge, power, and the body. Kafka wrote from unique historical space, divided by dissimilar judicial discourses. This collision of competing modalities provides the impetus for much of his work, including "In the Penal Colony" and The Trial. The recognition and delineation of these formations offers a better understanding of Kafka's world and his often enigmatic texts. Thus, Foucault's understanding of discourse and his unconventional history of discipline provide a helpful methodological framework for this investigation. Whereas a plethora of Kafka scholarship favors an allegorical or metaphysical interpretation, this dissertation privileges the literal. In his own words, Kafka sought to represent the "negative aspects" of his world --- the political, social, and legal reality in which he was immersed.
Read the dissertation pdf