Esoteric Composition of Kafka's Corpus

Author: Nannery, Lawrence
This book provides a survey of Kafka’s entire oeuvre and its themes. It is a positive refutation of present-day regnant critical approaches to Kafka in order to retrieve the works themselves and thereby revivify our primitive experience of the world as nihilistic and accidental, making of literature something all-important for our lives.


“ ... provides a philosophical context for Kafka’s theology of groundlessness while at the same time using this theology as a framework for clarifying the nature of modernity. This accomplishment is to be applauded and recommended not only to those interested in navigating Kafka’s literary texts but to those concerned with the task of comprehending the nature of modernity.” – Professor Gerald J. Galgan, St. Francis College

“A running commentary written from a philosopher's point of view, encompassing Kafka's entire oeuvre, its main topics and its connections to the major philosophers of his day, based on a life-long experience of reading and studying Kafka. Intended for the Kafka scholar, and above all a valuable guide for the student of Kafka and for a wide circle of readers interested in and seeking access to this enigmatic, seminal writer of the 20th century. Well-researched with extensive bibliography and useful notes.” - Prof. Maria Luise Caputo-Mayr, Kafka Society of America

“Lawrence Nannery's book is an excellent introduction to and a thorough study of Franz Kafka's entire work. It is a successful attempt to make sense of one of the most opaque authors of the 20th century, and it is an invaluable help in rendering [Kafka’s] various stories and fragments profitable and enjoyable reading. Dr. Nannery displays a truly impressive knowledge of Kafka's writings, as well as a thorough grasp of the voluminous secondary literature that has accumulated by now around these early classics of modernity. Nannery's knowledge and competence spans both Comparative Literature and Philosophy. What is particularly salutary is the fact that Nannery presents his discussions and insights without getting bogged down by the obscuring jargon and cumbersome academicisms that mar so many current studies of Kafka. Nannery's analyses are always straightforward and clear. His book is a companion that will lead a contemporary reader into the work of the master of Prague with an eager curiosity and a fresh mind.” – Prof. Jorn Bramann, Frostburg State University

Table of Contents

1. Themes in the Writings of Kafka
2. Elements of Kafka’s Style
3. Comic Horror
4. Guilt
5. Demons
6. The Coincidence of Opposites and the Thesis of Radical Finitude
7. Heidegger and Kafka
8. Living with Nihilism. The Later Works.