Kafka: Gender, Class, and Race in the Letters and Fictions

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Clarendon Press, 1996 - Literary Criticism - 304 pages
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Elizabeth Boa's new study of Kafka centres on gender. Her strikingly original insights show how, in an age of reactionary hysteria, Kafka rejected patriarchy yet exploited women as literary raw material. Drawing on Kafka's letters to his fiancee and to the Czech journalist, Milena Jesenska, Boa illuminates the transformation of details of everyday life into the strange yet uncannily familiar signs which are Kafka's stylistic hallmark. Kafka: Gender, Class and Race in the Letters andFictions argues that gender cannot be isolated from other dimensions of identity. The study relates Kafka's alienating images of the male body and fascinated disgust of female sexuality to the body-culture of the early twentieth century and to interfusing militaristic, racist, gender, and class ideologies. This is the context too for the stereotypes of the New Woman, the massive Matriarch, the lower-class seductress, and the assimilating Jew. The book explores Kafka's exploitation yet subversion of such stereotypes through the brilliant literary devices which assure his place in the modernist canon.

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References to this book

Deleuze on Literature
Ronald Bogue
Limited preview - 2003
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About the author (1996)

Elizabeth Boa is at University of Nottingham.

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