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Exotic Spaces in German Modernism$
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Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604128

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604128.001.0001

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An Intimate Elsewhere

An Intimate Elsewhere

Imagination of Distance and Vastness in Kafka

(p.121) 3 An Intimate Elsewhere
Exotic Spaces in German Modernism

Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei

Oxford University Press

Exotic topographies in Kafka’s works do not present experienced places, but rather imagined ones, the features of which often significantly differ from any real or actual space. The fictionalization of space in Kafka’s writings, it is argued, offers neither an existential void as Adorno argues, nor a metaphor for political sites of domination as post-colonialist theorists claim, but instead a means of liberating the imagination from the confines of the actual and everyday world. Vastness, distance, and undetermined spaces, associated with China, Russia, and America in Kafka’s fiction, serve to configure spaces of ‘elsewhere’ where radically new forms of being, experience, intimacy, and imagination are possible. This chapter examines major short stories and novels from Kafka’s oeuvre, as well as miniature prose works, in order to present a novel interpretation of the meaning of space and the exotic in Kafka’s writings.

Keywords:   Franz Kafka, exotic, space, imagination, China, Russia, America, post-colonialism, intimacy, elsewhere

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