Navigating the Labyrinth : An Integrative Analysis of the Works of Franz Kafka
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Instead of an “all-inclusive interpretation of the works of Franz Kafka,” the author proposes to integratively apply a variety of critical theories and methods to his works in order to open them to the broadest and most comprehensive interpretations possible. The goal of this paper is to analyze numerous points of view, drawing its conclusions from a wide spectrum of ideas. Its objective is three-fold: First, it will explore the writings of Franz Kafka in light of his socio-historical and biographical background. By examining the cultural and political situation of Prague at the turn of the century as well as the biographical backgrounds of Franz Kafka and his parents, a basis for beginning interpretations of Kafka's works will be established. Secondly, it will examine the criticism of Kafka's writings as Modernist by the Marxist philosopher Georg Lukacs, and consider the difficulties inherent in defining both schools of literary classification and writers as members of those schools. Finally, this paper will investigate the French theory of Minor literature, as developed by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The theory of Minor Literature offers fresh insight into the reading of Kafkan texts and assigns a significance to the social value of the writings of Franz Kafka which has previously gone all but unnoticed.