Kafka, arg poet


Den franska litteraturforskaren Pascale Casanova (1959-2018) gav 2011 ut boken Kafka en colère 2011 (på engelska Kafka, Angry Poet, 2015). Så här avslutar Richard Lachmannn sin recension av den (det halvfeta jag):

Casanova’s message is directed not just at analysts like us but also at the oppressed. She argues that understanding one’s situation is the basis of resistance, and understanding needs to be both specific to one’s situation and capable of finding parallels to other dominated peoples, as Kafka succeeded in doing. Kafka offers tools that differ from the ones that Bourdieu or most of us employ. If “the greatest obstacle to freedom lies in submission to authority, in the symbolic potency of power, in the most dominated themselves internalizing a belief in the necessity of obedience to authority which consequently has no need to impose itself by force,” then the dominated and we as analysts can undermine that authority using the tools that Kafka employs in his fiction: unreliable narrators to expose cant and the cruelty of power, and to show the differing yet parallel ways in which domination transforms the oppressors and the oppressed. Kafka’s place on the periphery of the literary world gave him an opening to innovate that elevated him to the apex of twentieth century literature. Those tools can be used by the oppressed in other circumstances. Casanova rightly acknowledges, “In no way did [Kafka] harbor the illusion that he would win out.” Neither should we as academics think that we will win out. However, radical honesty and intellectual innovation are their own victories, ones not available to oppressors.



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