Kafka and Photography

Hardcover | December 6, 2007

byCarolin Duttlinger

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Throughout his life, Franz Kafka was fascinated by photography, a medium which for him came to encapsulate both the attractions and the pitfalls of modern life. Kafka's personal engagement with the medium - as a keen viewer and collector of photographs as well as an amateur photographer - isreflected in his writings, which explore photography from a variety of different perspectives By far the most frequently and extensively discussed visual medium in Kafka's texts, photography is paradigmatic of his relationship to visuality more generally. This study not only explores photography'srecurrence as a theme within his texts but it is also the first to take systematic account of Kafka's use of photographs as literary source material. Kafka and Photography presents one of the most important modern writers from an entirely new perspective; it sheds new light on familiar works and uncovers unexplored aspects of Kafka's engagement with his time and context. Providing a chronological account of key prose works, as well as thepersonal writings, this study is accessible to students and lay readers. It will be of interest not only to literary scholars but also to those working in photography, media, and cultural studies. Its detailed textual analyses are set against a richly documented historical context which illustratesKafka's interest in contemporary culture through a range of visual material taken from public as well as private sources - some of which has only recently become available. As this book demonstrates, photography had a profound impact on Kafka's literary imagination and as such helps to explain themesmerizing intensity of enigmatic visual detail which is a hallmark of his narratives.

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Throughout his life, Franz Kafka was fascinated by photography, a medium which for him came to encapsulate both the attractions and the pitfalls of modern life. Kafka's personal engagement with the medium - as a keen viewer and collector of photographs as well as an amateur photographer - isreflected in his writings, which explore phot...

Carolin Duttlinger is University Lecturer in German at Oxford University, and Fellow and Tutor of Wadham College. She studied in Freiburg, Germany, and Cambridge, where she completed her doctorate in 2003. Her primary research interests lie in the field of twentieth-century German literature and thought, with particular reference to t...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.59 inPublished:December 6, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199219451

ISBN - 13:9780199219452

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsList of AbbreviationsIntroduction1. Kafka and photography: history of a theoretical configuration2. From film to photography: constructing the viewer in the early diaries3. iDer Verschollene/i: visions of the New World4. Photographic metamorphoses: iDie Verwandlung/i5. Fetishistic exchange: Kafka's letters to Felice Bauer6. iDer Process/i: The criminological gaze7. Optics of Power: 'Blumfeld', 'Ein Hungerkunstler', and iDas Schloss/iConclusion: Kafka the photographer?Bibliography