“We must try to get rid of it,” says Grete Samsa, of her brother the insect. Even as the Gregor-insect dries out and dies, Grete becomes active and seems to represent the Samsas’ hopeful new orientation towards the future. Harold Bloom’s “Map of Misreading” brings us into a close reading of Kafka’s grotesque fable, helping us to see that Kafka’s precise use of literary figures undermines this superficial suggestion of a Romantic conclusion to the Samsas’ crisis: as if the promise of Grete’s “young body” can redeem Gregor’s extreme alienation, and his ultimate disappearance into a no-time beyond language and human community. Kafka parodies faith that interpretive work can overcome the loss and alienation of contemporary life.
|Keywords:||Franz Kafka, Harold Bloom, Grotesque, Sublime, Alienation|
Senior Fellow, Foundation Year Programme, University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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