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Franz Kafka as Post-Nietzschean Writer

Written by son of rambow on Friday, July 02, 2010

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) writes his stories based on the portrait of a personal life. Kafka's personal experiences outlined in his absurd works. His heroes are often seen as allegorical projection of intellectuals. The characters in his works often appear helpless, faced with uncertain situations, which requires them to overcome. From the fact that, as expressed by Susan Sontag, a lot of critics who are recklessly interpret Kafka as the author of a mental illness and frustration against the modern bureaucracy.

For Milan Kundera Kafka is the best example of the radical autonomy of the novel (a poem in the form of the novel). Kafka declared autonomy encourages things about the human condition which can never be expressed by the social or political thought. "The Transformation" is one of them. Readers will be instantly struck by the opening sentence: As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.

Nihilism is marked by the collapse of old values and as a consequence humans live in a vacuum a key issue raised in "The Transformation" by Franz Kafka. Movement against the old values that have been established in European societies, especially in the world of arts and culture, known as modernism. Literary works was emerged in the modern age characterized by exploring the personal awareness (self-consciousness). At that time there is any contradiction between the modernists and the conservatives (who represented the clergy of the church). Conflict becomes turbid when coming into the area of the church, medicine, law and art. Those who rebelled the church will be called contra-patriotic, and decadent youth.

Topics nihilism and decadence have been put forward by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900) in his philosophical thinking. Previously judged morality of good and evil, right and wrong, reversed and destroyed. As a result of new morality found in Nietzsche, as presented in his book Beyond Good and Evil (Nietzsche, 1966), beyond-binary oppositions. Nietzsche's reversal of its peak value of projects submitted by "the death of God". Having God as the uppermost value of human destruction will be thrown in a puddle nihilism. Just in front of those who have found a new morality, nihilism can be overcome.

In addition to Kafka, Robert Musil (1880-1942) was also adapting Nietzsche's thought in his works. But Musil and the other writers do not have significance influence than Kafka. If the other authors they simply adopt the philosophy of Nietzsche to smooth the destination, the Nietzschean nihilism in Kafka's very united in his pessimistic works. Depression is treated by Kafka to overcome depression.

Kafka, as recognized friend Max Brod, was a great reader of Nietzsche. But he did not explicitly show the influence of his reading in literary works. Almost the whole Kafka none of which indicate the names of Nietzsche as in "Doctor Faustus" by Thomas Mann. Unlike other young Jewish writers - such as Herzl and Werfel including Kraus, Kafka does not like showing his reading of Nietzsche's unifying.

-by Udin Attar

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