Kafka and Wittgenstein

Paper Text – $34.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3184-2

Cloth Text – $99.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-3146-0
Publication Date
November 2015
Page Count
232 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Kafka and Wittgenstein

The Case for an Analytic Modernism
Rebecca Schuman

In Kafka and Wittgenstein, Rebecca Schuman undertakes the first ever book-length scholarly examination of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language alongside Franz Kafka’s prose fiction. In groundbreaking readings, she argues that although many readers of Kafka are searching for what his texts mean, in this search we are sorely mistaken. Instead, the problems and illusions we portend to uncover, the im-portant questions we attempt to answer—Is Josef K. guilty? If so, of what? What does Gregor Samsa’s transformed body mean? Is Land-Surveyor K. a real land surveyor?— themselves presuppose a bigger delusion: that such questions can be asked in the first place. Drawing deeply on the entire range of Wittgenstein’s writings, Schuman can-nily sheds new light on the enigmatic Kafka.

About the Author

REBECCA SCHUMAN is an adjunct instructor in the Pierre Laclede Honors College at the University of Missouri—St. Louis. She is the education columnist for Slate and a regular contributor to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

"Schuman makes a convincing case for a new way of thinking about modernism that brings together arguably the most important philosopher of the first half of the twentieth century with the most important literary author of that same time period... Schuman offers a more dialogical approach that values both partners—literature and philosophy, Kafka and Wittgenstein—in the conversation and shows how each enables a new reading of the other. In doing so, she opens up the canon of analytic philosophy as a potent and considerably untapped resource and conversation partner for literary studies, which have tended toward continental philosophy whenever philosophy has been part of the literary conversation." --German Studies Review