Kafka’s Letter

Large, William ORCID: 0000-0003-0447-5364 (2015) Kafka’s Letter. Word and Text, A Journal of Literary Studies and Linguistics (1). pp. 209-215.

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Perhaps of all the writers Kafka is the most important to Blanchot. In some way, he defines what literature means to Blanchot. In every period of his work, and in most of his publications of essays and reviews, there is a substantial piece on Kafka (so much so that in French, De Kaf-ka à Kafka, there is a complete edition of them). This article is a personal account of the au-thor’s own encounter with Kafka. It focuses on the subjective experience of literature as how reading deeply affects one’s own sense of self (‘A book,’ Kafka writes, ‘must be the axe for the frozen sea inside of us.’) What is most important about Blanchot’s description of literature, de-spite the fact that we might attempt to turn it back into another theory, is that the book is an en-counter between the author and the work, which continually escapes them, and the reader, who through reading, is transformed and changed forever. It is this alteration that is the ‘truth’ of literature, rather than any description or interpretation of the text, which views this subjective response as a failure. Without this failure, however, literature would not be possible and reading would be reduced to information.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autobiography; Blanchot; failure; Kafka; Letters to Felice; literature; reading; Schocken Books; subjectivity; The Trial; writing
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Creative Arts
Research Priority Areas: Culture, Continuity, and Transformation
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2019 13:18
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:55
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6571

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