Kafka, Narrative and the Law


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  • Speaker: Vivian Liska, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Host Department: Judaic Studies, Frankel Center for
  • Date: 11/06/2013
  • Time: 05:00 PM

  • Location: Michigan League, Michigan Room

  • Description:

    References to the law pervade Kafka’s writings, but their meaning remains elusive. It is precisely because it is uncertain whether the law in Kafka’s work is to be understood in juridical, religious, literary, or more generally ontological terms that it has elicited numerous and often contradictory interpretations, which shed light on the relationship between these different realms. The lecture will explore how this indeterminacy and its effects have inspired concepts of justice in modernist thinkers from Scholem and Benjamin to Jacques Derrida and Giorgio Agamben, as well as the relationship between law and narrative and its correlation with Jewish approaches to the interaction between Halacha and Aggadah.

    Sponsored by: German, Comparative Literature, Judaic Studies, Humanities, Rackham