August Strindberg is one of the most enduring of nineteenth-century dramatists, and is also an internationally recognized novelist, autobiographer, and painter. This Companion presents contributions by leading international scholars on different aspects of Strindberg's highly colorful life and Phrase Searching You can use double quotes to search for a series of words in a particular order. Wildcard Searching If you want to search for multiple variations of a word, you can substitute a special symbol called a "wildcard" for one or more letters. You can use?
Advanced Searching Our Advanced Search tool lets you easily search multiple fields at the same time and combine terms in complex ways. Yet the Europe which moulded this internationalism has been lost; it was torn at the seams by the First World War and the Versailles settlement which concluded it and then shredded by Hitler. Today Jewish Europe barely exists in the lands Kafka knew and the multilingual Habsburg Europe of Austria— Hungary long ago gave way to largely monolingual nation states.
After the extermination of the European Jews came the expulsion of the Czech Germans in He learnt Latin and Greek as a matter of course, though not necessarily with joy, which meant he could read his favourite classical authors in the original. He read the German and Austrian classics Goethe, Kleist, Grillparzer as part of a cultural canon which was at once his own as a German and not his own as a Jew. The European greats of the nineteenth century belonged indisputably to his understanding of his own modern tradition: Dostoevsky among the Russians; Flaubert from the French; and Dickens from the English.
There is no sense in which he read them to savour foreign style or experience; he regarded them as fellow Europeans in a way which is rarer three-quarters of a century after his death. Prodigious as his linguistic accomplishments may seem to us now, they were not unusual; his supposedly uncultivated father was more or less trilingual. As his own father had not married until the Habsburg laws restricting Jewish marriage had been lifted in , Hermann was a secondgeneration Jewish migrant. When the family moved from country to city, they transformed themselves from unemancipated, second-class Jewish subjects of the emperor to semi-assimilated bourgeois businessmen.
The changes had been rapid and the emerging social and cultural formations which generated identity and underpinned relations within society proved fragile. The comments inspired a once fashionable book and in the era of identity politics have lost none of their urgency or incisiveness. Vienna, where he attended a Zionist congress in , and Berlin, home of Felice Bauer, are the two other points of his Central European cultural triangle after Prague.
When he mentions real places in his early stories and sketches Berlin, Constantinople, St Petersburg he does not do so for the sake of realism. But they are metaphorical itinerants who have ventured out from home into a threatening and puzzling environment. The chapters in the Companion devoted to the three novels bring out these qualities in different but related ways, suggesting not only the unity of the novels but showing too how Kafka was preoccupied by the theme of belonging and non-belonging.
Symbolically Russia was one of his most evocative locations, suggesting both personal loneliness in its immense open spaces and the threat of barbarism. It also witnessed the rise of international social democracy, the failed revolution in Russia in and the Bolshevik takeover in Moscow in , the aborted German revolution in —19 and a similar uprising in Budapest. Of most concern to Kafka was the rise of anti-Semitism and the burgeoning Zionist movement in which he took a great interest. The age was marked by technological innovation, which both fascinated and repelled him, and rapid industrialisation, particularly in Bohemia, the industrial powerhouse of the empire.
Technology and industrial relations, how one set of people — employers — dealt with another set — their employees — were quite literally his bread and butter. It is little wonder that identity and cultural dislocation, gender and politics feature so strongly in many of the chapters to follow in the Companion. Their places of death, often hundreds or thousands of miles away, point to the relationship between geography and history in this region at this time.
Dora Diamant, whom Kafka met in the last summer before his death, was the daughter of orthodox East European Jews. Does it seem that in his great affairs of the mind and the heart Kafka was trying out identities or testing himself against them? The origins and fate of his male friends complement this picture.
They were all Jewish, at least by background. But two schoolfriends, Paul Kisch and Oskar Pollak, with both of whom he conducted a correspondence which has survived, show possibilities for Kafka himself. On the outbreak of the First World War he volunteered for the Austrian army and was killed in action on the Italian front in In the case of Kisch, the brutal ineluctability of ethnic identity becomes clearer.
Despite repudiating his Jewishness and signing up completely to the nationalist cause, he perished in Auschwitz. Discovering his parental and ancestral cultural roots, Kafka articulates his own sense of European cultural identity most fully in this short lecture. All of Europe seems to be Yiddish and Yiddish all of Europe, united by linguistic difference. As usual with Kafka we have to peel away the textual layers to get at what he is really talking about. Here he is constructing a series of images of what it is like to be a Central European Jew. In short, they will recognise themselves in the exotic performances, which they are about to see and hear from the Yiddish players.
Once Yiddish has taken hold of them, they will not be able to understand their earlier contentedness; they will be afraid, not of Yiddish, but of themselves. If there was one thing which Kafka grew to hate more and more, it was the provincial, the narrowness of family and cultural background.
In the United States he is frequently thrown together with his fellow Europeans, including some from the empire, Austrians, Slovaks, Hungarians and Romanians, and others from beyond, French, Italians, and Irish, whose untrustworthiness he has been warned about. While they are clearly distinguished from one another, their shared foreignness in the New World, that is their common cultural experience as Europeans, binds them together. The Europe which Kafka knew changed once more in with the fall of Soviet Communism, precipitated in Czechoslovakia by the Velvet Revolution, which in turn led to the split between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
These great upheavals provide one reason for another book about Kafka, the greatest Czech author who did not write Czech. While Anthony Northey debunks some of the myths surrounding perceptions of his life, he shows too what a potent icon or legend Kafka remains. New light is cast on his texts by new trends in literary and cultural theory, just as new research continues to shed more light on his contexts.
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Magic Prague, pp. Rolf J. Translated in Anderson ed. Patrick Creagh London: Collins Harvill, Kieval, Hillel L. Ripellino, Angelo Maria, Magic Prague, tr. David Newton Marinelli, ed. Michael Henry Heim London: Picador, Rather, it has to do with the way he employs modern America both as the main locus of social contest and as a metaphor. In chapter 5 American architectural and technological modernity is further underlined by the multistorey Hotel Occidental, which contains a buzzing self-service restaurant and operates some thirty lifts.
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The opening description of the Statue of Liberty indicates this clearly. The arm holding the sword seems to rise up afresh and, round the Statue, free winds are blowing. Some critics have interpreted the sword-bearing Statue as a symbol of a destructive power, others have read it more positively as an allegory of justice. The point of this distortion, however, is twofold: it not only anticipates the outcome of the novel but also foregrounds perception as one of its prominent themes.
From the very moment of his arrival in the new world he perceives unstable images and distorted objects which are simultaneously both vivid and blurred, hyper-real and anti-mimetic. Paradoxically, by taking mimesis to its extreme and carefully registering the contradictory sensual impressions of the hero, the narrative mode becomes extremely anti-mimetic. Lacan argues that through the Oedipal drama the child has to repress its pre-Oedipal attachment to the mother. This alone enables the child to become a speaking subject in the social order.
Thus the symbolic is dominated by the imperatives of paternal authority. The following analysis therefore examines how authority and power are exercised in the novel. This apparent realistic tendency was further underlined when Max Brod published it in as Amerika. Since Kafka subscribed to this journal and owned a copy of the book edition, his debt to Holitscher has been given considerable scholarly attention.
Thematic links are numerous. Among these are the depiction of unemployment, the critique of the working conditions of industrial labourers and the sheer scale of American life. Holitscher emphasises the social consequences of rapid technological change. American society in his account can be analysed rationally and, consequently, reformed. According to this paradigm, travel, with its pitfalls, dangers and challenges, ultimately allows the self to experience a process of growth.
Kafka diverges from this by expelling his hero from home, thus indicating his lack of traditional free will. From the outset his journey consists of repeated acts of punishment which take him down the social scale. Expelling Karl from his care, he is not at all concerned with the total mismatch between the alleged misdemeanour and his harsh punishment, which casts the now impoverished Karl back to the bottom of the heap. However, the interrogation scene in chapter 6 shows that her maternal impulse to protect him is severely hampered by the paternal authority of the Head Waiter who, like Uncle Jakob, exercises his right to punish Karl severely for a relatively minor transgression.
Enslaved in a seedy world of sado-masochism, he now seems to have plunged to the lowest social depths. In The Man who Disappeared, the suspension of intimacy between self and world, one of the hallmarks of travel writing, only points to the fragility and instability of subjectivity in a largely unreadable and hostile modern environment.
At the end of the chapter we see Karl leave with his rich uncle who has the means to offer him a brilliant career. When Karl examines the contents of his suitcase he is afraid that the most precious items might well have disappeared. All his clothes are there, his money, passport, and his watch, even a Veronese salami that was packed by his mother, as well as a bible, writing paper, and one photograph of his parents. The suitcase now seems to evoke a sense of a caring order that is associated with his parents.
However, this impression is deceptive, as a close-up examination of some of the contents will reveal. As long as we read about him he has not gone missing. It attests to his name as well as to his place and date of birth. The implication here is that his parents dispatched him to the United States without a proper visa. From the very beginning he is thus an unwelcome outsider with neither a stable identity nor secure rights. While on one level the family photograph authenticates the togetherness of this particular family at that particular place and time, on a second level it does just the opposite.
Presence once more denotes absence. The photograph follows the formal convention of showing the pater familias standing with one arm draped on the back of an armchair and the other on an illustrated book.
Certain of the secret feelings of his mother in the photograph, Karl is overwhelmed by the desire to kiss her dangling hand. His sense of confusion is given grammatical expression in one long sentence whose subclauses lead the reader and the protagonist into dead ends, up and down short staircases, to branching off corridors, until both parties are totally lost. Instead it disperses the boundaries of the objects until the human eye is completely dazzled. This departure from the stable register of naturalism is characteristic of many texts of this period which explore the city as a space of a newly depersonalised perception.
What shoutings, whizzings, and hummings! And everything so tightly penned in. Right up close to the wheels of cars people are walking, children, girls, men, and elegant women; old men and cripples and people with bandaged heads, one sees all these in the crowd. And always fresh bevies of people and vehicles. The buses go galumphing past like clumsy great beetles.
Unlike metaphor, which substitutes one expression for another on the basis of similarity, metonymy takes a characteristic or attribute and substitutes it for the whole. By its very nature contiguity disrespects the hierarchical boundaries of the established social order. This danger is clearly perceived by Uncle Jakob who, in a long speech, emphasises the importance of good judgement and explicitly warns Karl not to spend his days on the balcony looking down at the bustle of the city.
Like Walser and Kafka, Roth describes this moment as one in which the individual is totally overcome by a blend of sensual impressions which he can no longer decode. In all three novels the metropolis of New York is characterised as a space which de-familiarises all kinship relations. Von Gunten deliberately disowns his aristocratic family background in search of an energy which is associated with the city. This latent rejection of kinship is reciprocated by Uncle Jakob himself when he expels Karl.
Finally, Karl encounters another labyrinth when, after his dismissal from the Hotel Occidental, Delamarche drags him through the interconnecting corridors and courtyards of a working-class apartment block. Here he loses all sense of alienation and the feeling that he is on the uncertain boards of a ship, beside the coast of an unknown continent. The Stoker is an example of the phobic psyche which attempts to maintain its fragile boundaries through mechanisms of exclusion. It is for this reason that the only sense of identity which is available to him depends on the jingoistic notion of a shared Germanness.
The experience of reality as labyrinth always points to the physical, perceptual, and psychological disorientation suffered by a self that has gone astray, or a maze-walker who cannot assimilate an environment which only heightens his disorientation. Although the effects of industrialisation and urbanisation undoubtedly reinforce his dislocation, they are not, contrary to the claims of some critics, the ultimate cause of the loss of identity in the novel. Kafka explores more than social change, he deals with the underlying mechanisms of the symbolic order as such.
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The symbolic order is thus founded on the phallic power of the father and the repression of desire for the mother. For Lacan, the Oedipus Complex and the paternal metaphor also explain the centrality of language in the social construction of subjectivity. Without this, he argues, the child would not have access to a stable identity. In other words: patriarchal dominance results less from biological privilege than from a phallocentric socioeconomic and linguistic system. Like no other modernist writer Kafka is concerned with the symbolic threats on which the symbolic order is erected.
Hurling an apple at Gregor, the father wounds him in the back and contributes to his demise. Throughout the novel the male representatives of power perceive him as a threat to a social fabric which relies exclusively on the law of the father for regulating social interchange.
Viewed from a psychoanalytic angle, The Man who Disappeared can thus be read as a story of non-assimilation in which the social rites of expulsion and rejection are repeatedly enacted in order to protect the power of the symbolic father. Again this can be demonstrated with reference to chapter 1.
Unlike the Stoker, whose ability to represent himself linguistically is clearly limited, Karl is the master of his language. This impression is reinforced a little later when he reprimands the Stoker for his emotional outburst in the following manner: You must tell it more simply, more clearly; the captain cannot pay attention to what you are telling him if you carry on like that.
DV: 23 By asking the Stoker to observe the rhetorical rules of judicial pleadings, Karl makes a demand which his new friend cannot possibly meet. As a phobic self, the working-class Stoker can only express himself through symptomatic linguistic gesturing. Karl appeals explicitly to the stable social code which is governed by collective rules and shared conventions which regulate the symbolic order.
Evidently, the lie undermines the whole purpose of the exercise because it destroys both the propositional content of the speech act and the social relation between speaker and addressee which must be based on truthfulness in order to function. His actual position within the symbolic order is extremely fragile. This progression from a seemingly authoritative rhetoric of rationality to moments of total speechlessness shows his growing awareness that his voice is not powerful enough.
Kafka thus suggests that language is not simply an important tool for implementing a social practice, but that it is the very condition for the constitution of the subject. This change in his tastes is compounded by the loss of his human voice. At the end of chapter 1, when Gregor is eager to explain his failure to turn up for work on time, he is still unaware of his changed physical appearance and the complete loss of a comprehensible language. But this loss has far-reaching consequences: it amounts to an unconscious renunciation of his participation in the symbolic order.
The representatives of the symbolic order, in this case the family, view his dead body as refuse that has to be thrust aside in order to make room for life. As that which is no longer of use, waste is clearly the other of the symbolic; it thus upsets the mechanisms of referencing and ordering, in short all those relations which establish the signifying system. Without his writing, the writer is waste.
Kafka thus disposes of the notion of a subjectivity prior to the act of writing. His original aspirations are once more evoked when he tries to apply for the post of engineer. The bureaucratic enrolment procedure with its hierarchical structures and, above all, the imminent threat that his details will be cross-checked, show that the Theatre of Oklahama is hardly a paradise regained but that it reads more like a slapstick parody of the Austro-Hungarian bureaucracy which Kafka knew so well. In a way, the American myth of the self-made man allows Uncle Jakob to give birth to himself without the aid of a mother.
As the embodiment of the American dream he thus represents the price the speaking subject pays for the mastery of its position within the symbolic order: the silencing of the maternal. Instead he offers a sterile fantasy of a rebirth based on nothing but the cerebral activity of making the right judgement. In his thinking the physical raw material of life, the body with its impulses and energies, requires a regimentation that aims at the repression of all pleasure and, in the last analysis, of all desire.
Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten, tr.
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Leon S. The novel stands clearly in the tradition of modernist city narratives, where urban space supplies the location for the disappearance of the alienated individual in the lonely crowd. Like nothing but stores on both sides. Peaches next to pickled herrings. Seaside hats. Blackened radishes. Bicycles gleaming everywhere [. Summer misery brought to light. Here we encounter Josef K. Although apprehended through K. Titorelli cautions K.
But K. But his alienated gaze produces merely the illusion of one day attaining a perspective that would yield more than the most fragmented and partial understanding of the legal system. His arrest is witnessed from across the street by an unusually curious old lady, who is soon joined by an even older man whom she embraces, and by another man with an open shirt twisting and turning his red goatee. Beginning with this strangely voyeuristic scene, K. For him, man is on stage from the very beginning. As one of the two guards notifying him of his arrest points out, K. Such ignorance leads to high tragedy and carnivalesque farce.
Observed by his neighbour-spectators and lying in bed, K. The conversation between the guards, the inspector, and their victim is a masterpiece of pompous self-assertions, misunderstandings and non-sequiturs, pitting K. In the evening, K. Although K. Underscoring the persistently theatrical nature of K. Again the performative nature of his legal plight is clearly expressed when K. Conversely, K. When K. If the court literally travels to K. Doubting that Block, a fellow client, has given his real name, K. This estrangement marks K. But put more precisely, K.
But while K. To his surprise, he encounters the three bank clerks who had been present at his arrest. Two of them, Rabensteiner and Kullych, are riding a tram that crosses K. All three, K. As Walter Sokel has pointed out, K. The naturalistic accumulation of minute details pushes the description from realism to surrealistic dream. Still, K. In the house where the court hearing is supposed to take place, the colourful array of proletarian street life outside blends seamlessly into the life inside the narrow rooms, their doors open and their beds crowded with women, children, and sick people.
Bothered by the children playing on the staircase of the grimy tenement building, he tells himself that next time, he ought either to bring some candy to win them over or a cane to beat them. In this situation, K. Since K. Instead, he directs his detective-like attention solely at the court which keeps forever outside the grasp of his reasoning.
As long as he had entrusted his defence to the advocate, he reasons, his trial had actually not affected him very much.
Now that he has decided to get more directly involved in his own defence, he will be exposed dangerously to the court, if only temporarily and for the sake for his eventual release. He can only accuse it of corruption, immorality, and illegal persecution. The soiled, pornographic books that K. Deeply offended, K. But of course, K. Next day, K. He is unable, however, to face its terrifying implication: that his own trial may be as repetitive, torturous, and utterly surrealistic as this. Theatricality, sexual performance, and deceptive mimetic displays also characterise the next chapters.
He is actually quite tiny but has himself painted in this awe-inspiring manner because he is as vain as everybody connected to the court. Even the chair is actually not a throne but a simple kitchen stool covered with an old horse blanket. Instead K. After being kissed by K. She also claims that she has become a substitute for K. In a way, however, she also takes on the role of K. This defect adds to the sinister way in which she bites and kisses K.
The area is even poorer; the houses are darker, the streets full of dirt; Titorelli has a ramshackle atelier under the roof of a rat-infested tenement building. Like K. And while K. Titorelli shows K. Here K. Titorelli, too, is engaged in allegorising. But the artist admits frankly that everything in the painting is pure invention, depicted to order. Thus, while the painting eludes the hermeneutic desire to establish a determinate, coherent meaning, it does, in terms of K.
Cynically complicit with power and its vain self-display, art loses its aesthetic autonomy as well as any claim to authenticity, verisimilitude, or truth. All his other paintings, three of which K. These portraits of typical denizens of the Parisian streets assume that one can read profession, character, biographical descent, and lifestyle from faces. The harmless, friendly images contributed to the phantasmagoric appearance of Paris. According to this view, K. Examining himself in a pocket mirror, however, K. Huld gives the physiological reading an even more ambiguous twist. He tells K.
After all, some of the accused may actually not be guilty. Nor is beauty an indication of the impending punishment, as not all will be punished. Quite reasonably, K. In terms of physiological appearance as well as in other respects, the Italian business associate visiting K. The businessman wants to see some of the local art treasures and K. He also possesses some knowledge of cultural history, and is a member of the Society for the Preservation of Municipal Works of Art. He speaks French in addition to his local southern Italian dialect, but K. He is a traveller who puts shining surface appearances and an indulgent lifestyle of aesthetic pleasures above the analytic mind-set and bourgeois-capitalist work ethic that dominate K.
Having just returned from a business trip with a terrible headache, K. When Leni calls him on the telephone, she unexpectedly connects K. While K. One of these panels depicts a tall knight in armour with a sword who attentively watches an event that supposedly takes place directly before him. Again, for K. As he muses, what would happen if he himself, like the Italian, were a foreigner who had entered the cathedral merely to do some sightseeing? Although this seems to be what K. As prison chaplain, the priest is yet another intermediary between K.
Indeed, the concluding chapter, perhaps one of the most poetic pieces Kafka ever wrote, comes with inescapable urgency. Their outward appearance stands in brutal if comic contrast to the gruesome purpose of the excursion. The theatrical metaphors again convey those persistent surfaces and appearances that K. She tries to be the active subject collecting urban images rather than the oppressed object of the male gaze. Instead of assaulting her with his erotic desire as he had done earlier, K. Thus the lesson of K.
Ironically, K. During K. Perhaps a friend, perhaps a good person sympathetic to his plight, this spectator, the last in the series of observers before whom K. The critical consciousness of the present informed by historical materialism initiates the state of awakening from this remembered, dreamlike past. What K. This inescapable negativity is, ultimately, the reason why K.
Rodney Livingstone and others, ed. Michael W. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, tr. Benjamin, Arcades Project, p. Benjamin, Arcades Project, pp. Dodd, W. St Lucia: Queensland University Press, Tester, Keith ed. Ernst Bloch1 Modernity and community The modern Western subject, the citizen-individual, is emancipated from the milieu of his birth, he sets his own values, and he exercises rights freely negotiated in the social contract.
Since no single English word could convey the many associations, I shall use the German term. But if K. The modern hero has arrived in a premodern world. Yet having once arrived, K.
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Why should a self-assertive man with a strong sense of his own worth stay on in face of the humiliations and failures K. To explore the possibility of grounding autonomous selfhood through community Kafka transplants a modern hero, emancipated from traditional ties and pieties, into a village tale. The incongruous elements are mutually estranging.
The castle too remains mysterious to K. Even the castle bureaucrats turn out to be frightened of direct confrontation with ordinary mortals of whose concerns they show little comprehension. But the reader constantly enjoys moments of illumination limited to one strand in the weave — satirical mockery of bureaucracy, for example, or expressive evocation of existential isolation, or critical unmasking of male pretensions and of authoritarianism in K. Yet such moments also contribute to readerly frustration in the quest for the meaning, since their limitations are all too evident. Moreover the passages producing the illumination are often overdetermined, full of other meanings that belong to a different picture in the weave.
With these provisos, I want now to embark on one path of partial enquiry: why does K. First, a brief sketch of the historical context. The sheer pace of change unleashed a widespread sense of threat to psychological integrity and social stability as the old bases of identity rooted in birthright, custom, and religion were displaced by competitive individualism.
Kafka lived most of his life in Prague, before the First World War the capital of Bohemia, a province in the dual monarchy of Austria—Hungary, and after the war the capital of Czechoslovakia. In the Bohemian census, by which political representation was determined, the Jews had to identify themselves as either German or Czech and were perceived as shifting sides in accord with self-interest, so contributing to the anti-Semitic stereotype of the grasping rootless Jew. As the sharpening of identity politics made assimilation a less attractive prospect, some intellectuals were drawn to the ideal of a Jewish nation, whether within the mixed communities of Austria—Hungary or the more radical solution of a homeland in Palestine.
But in postwar Czechoslovakia, before the German invasion of heralded the genocide of Czech and European Jewry, a moment of new hope came. At the same time, the destruction of faith in an abstract ideal of universal humanity, which had been hastened by the slaughter in the First World War, may account for the tenacity of K. Heimat old and new Early on, K. In contrast to K. That K.
The castle, which on closer inspection appears to K. The evocation in memory of an idyllic home town Heimat stands in the ambit of a discourse which had been widely disseminated in Germanspeaking culture since the turn of the century. The arrival of a stranger in a village initiates a search, which is driven by the longing for a utopian harmony of self and other, for a communally sustained yet autonomous identity.
Under the stress of rapid change, Heimat discourse around set country against city, province against metropolis, tradition against modernity, and local or familial loyalties against cosmopolitanism and egoistic individualism. At its most reactionary, it expressed rejection of the modern world. In more conciliatory mood, the Heimat movement sought to counteract urban alienation by fostering communal values and, like green politics in our day, to ameliorate the effects of modernisation on the natural and human environment.
He walks across the farmyard, past a lurking cat, old broken-down farm implements, and a torn cloth once wound round a stick in a childhood game. The author, Paul Krische, evokes the type of the restless modern man no longer rooted in native soil, yet in whom memories of the household goods of his childhood remain potent: And should he once return to his old parents and see the old furniture and hear the ticking of the clock familiar from his childhood days, then the Heimat feeling awakens in him and he feels how alive the things which accompanied him through childhood and youth and which he had thought long dead still are.
He allows for modern mobility, although he regrets the loss of millions of Germans through emigration. But he pleads against xenophobia and praises the exceptionally intense fabric of Jewish family life as the expression of the Heimat instinct. Schools rather than the family, he suggests, mediate the imaginary Heimat. For K. An especially powerful imaginary Heimat, constituted in textual representations rather than through material connection, is the Jewish Promised Land of the Fathers, which Krische contrasts with the real physical Heimat of the Jewish family household.
The strength of Jewish family life, according to Krische, is produced by the Heimat instinct which, deprived of the original community between man and soil Scholle , seeks a substitute. A central trope in Heimat literature is topography. The Heimat is often connected to an arterial road running past it by an umbilical link road. Here there is the bridge which K. The village thus appears as a deviation from the historical highway. But the bridge K. Bounded externally, the Heimat is internally segmented by local paths, like the alleyway turning off from the village street in the opening sequence of The Castle.
As a land surveyor, K. As a modern subject who has left home, K. Women may be expected to live with in-laws in an extended household under the rule of a mother-in-law, but not men. The Lasemanns appear at once as intensely private to the outsider peering in, yet the insiders lack all privacy. He may have a wife and child back at home, as he at one point claims, but he behaves more like a bachelor than an errant husband.
In blackly comic mode, K. The two endeavours at once hinder yet contaminate each another, for whether K. Whether as newcomer, returnee, or insider, often an artist or an intellectual, he tries to strike roots yet frets at limitations and defends his integrity against local pressures to conform. Thus the unhappy bachelor seeks the way back home through woman as the embodiment of Heimat. And he keeps her from Gardena, the matriarch of the Bruckenhof inn, the threshold to the village from the outside world.
The pair set up home independently between these two crossing points. But located in the school, the domain of bossy propagators of local rules and regulations, their household proves endlessly open to intrusions, especially from the assistants, one of whom even ends up between K. The assistants are ambiguously associated both with K.
The passage suggests self-division between earthly roots which need nourishment and more vital air-fed roots. The assistants are K. But precisely the need to feel at home interferes with the aspiration to press on further. Illogically, K. Thus the quest risks preventing the very outcome the quester seeks. The accelerated transformation of Jeremias, cutting out development over time, produces a cartoonlike effect in juxtaposing images of youth and age, like advertisements showing before and after. Similarly, a game with names juxtaposes stages in life by cutting out intervening temporal development.
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