cover of book

The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority
by Costas Despiniadis
translated by Stelios Kapsomenos
Black Rose Books, 2018
eISBN: 978-1-55164-686-2 | Cloth: 978-1-55164-658-9 | Paper: 978-1-55164-656-5

Few twentieth-century writers remain as potent as Franz Kafka—one of the rare figures to maintain both a major presence in the academy and on the shelves of general readers. Yet, remarkably, no work has yet fully focused on his politics and anti-authoritarian sensibilities. The Anatomist of Power: Franz Kafka and the Critique of Authority is a fascinating new look at his widely known novels and stories (including The Trial, Metamorphosis, In the Penal Colony and Amerika), portraying him as a powerful critic of authority, bureaucracy, capitalism, law, patriarchy, and prisons. Making deft use of Kafka’s diaries, his friends’ memoirs, and his original sketches, Costas Despiniadis addresses his active participation in Prague’s anarchist circles, his wide interest in anarchist authors, his skepticism about the Russian Revolution, and his ambivalent relationship with utopian Zionism. The portrait of Kafka that emerges is striking and fresh—rife with insights and a refusal to accept the structures of power that dominated his society.

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