When Kafka Says We: Uncommon Communities in German-Jewish Literature (Helen and Martin Schwartz Lectures in Jewish Studies) (Hardcover)
Taking as its starting point Franz Kafka's complex relationship to Jews and to communities in general, When Kafka Says We explores the ambivalent responses of major German-Jewish writers to self-enclosed social, religious, ethnic, and ideological groups. Vivian Liska shows that, for Kafka and others, this ambivalence inspired innovative modes of writing which, while unmasking the oppressive cohesion of communal groupings, also configured original and uncommon communities. Interlinked close readings of works by German-Jewish writers such as Kafka, Else Lasker-Sch ler, Nelly Sachs, Paul Celan, Ilse Aichinger, and Robert Schindel illuminate the ways in which literature can subvert, extend, or reconfigure established visions of communities. Liska's rich and astute analysis uncovers provocative attitudes and insights on a subject of continuing controversy.