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Kafka's The Trial – Philosophical Perspectives - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Kafka's The Trial: Philosophical Perspectives

Espen Hammer


The Trial, written from 1914 to 1915 and published in 1925, is a multifaceted, notoriously difficult manifestation of European literary modernism. Written in a relatively abstract language, it tells the story of Josef K., who is accused of a crime he has no recollection of having committed (and whose nature is never revealed to him). The novel has often been interpreted theologically, expressing a form of radical nihilism in a modern world abandoned by God. However, it has just as often been read as a parable of the cold, inhumane rationality of modern bureaucratization. Like many other novels ... More

Keywords: Kafka, The Trial, literary modernism, modernization, philosophy, theology, metaphysics, nihilism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190461454
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190461454.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Espen Hammer, editor
Professor, Department of Philosophy, Temple University

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