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Agamben's Joyful Kafka: Finding Freedom Beyond Subordination (Paperback)
  • Agamben's Joyful Kafka: Finding Freedom Beyond Subordination (Paperback)
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Agamben's Joyful Kafka: Finding Freedom Beyond Subordination (Paperback)

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£31.99
Paperback 160 Pages / Published: 10/04/2014
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Both Giorgio Agamben and Franz Kafka are best known for their gloomy political worldview. A cautious study of Agamben's references on Kafka, however, reveals another dimension right at the intersection of their works: a complex and unorthodox theory of freedom. The inspiration emerges from Agamben's claims that 'it is a very poor reading of Kafka's works that sees in them only a summation of the anguish of a guilty man before the inscrutable power'. Virtually all of Kafka's stories leave us puzzled about what really happened. Was Josef K., who is butchered like a dog, defeated? And what about the meaningless but in his own way complete creature Odradek? Agamben's work sheds new light on these questions and arrives, through Kafka, at different strategies for freedom at the point where this freedom is most blatantly violated.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781628921328
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 254 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 10 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Agamben's Joyful Kafka is valuable both as a work of Agamben scholarship and as a work of Kafka criticism: understanding just how Agamben understands Kafka is extremely useful for finding and opening the joy in Kafka's work, and indispensable for coming to grips with the misunderstandings that have marked Agamben's. [...] Snoek's erudite study makes an important contribution to Agambenian philosophy. It also provides a unique and compelling literary and philosophical study of those moments of reversal which, to quote Benjamin slightly out of context, `. . . can make the incomplete (happiness) complete, and the complete (pain) incomplete.' * German Studies Review *
One of the greatest questions surrounding Giorgio Agamben's work today is how one might embody his complex conceptualizations of our social and cultural realities. Snoek's answer is quite simple: Kafka's perfectly blended surreal and yet all-too-human literary universe delivers us the most profound and pronounced insights into the highly theoretical work of Agamben. Moreover, as she ably demonstrates, this affinity between Kafka and Agamben is not a coincidence, but a combination of those particular elements central to understanding both authors' visions of our world. Snoek's in-depth analysis probes the darkest corners of modern life alongside two authors whose commentary on such matters almost singularly defines it. * Colby Dickinson, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Loyola University Chicago, USA *
A richly rewarding-and much needed-study of the influence of Kafka in Agamben's work that casts new light on the provocative account of political freedom that he develops. * Catherine Mills, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia *
"Anke Snoek's book fills an existing lacuna in biopolitical theory. Very little in the past generation came close to the explosion of intellectual power that emanated from Benjamin's reading of Kafka, or in ours, to the way Giogrio Agamben reads both. Snoek's comprehensive analysis of these intersections supplies a careful map of both moments for students of the present, and theory of potentialities." * Nitzan Lebovic, The Apter Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values, Lehigh University, USA *

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