In the French filmmaker Robert Bresson’s cinematography, the linkage of fragmented, dissimilar images challenges our assumption that we know either what things are in themselves or the infinite ways in which they are entangled. The “bond” of Sharon Cameron’s title refers to the astonishing connections found both within Bresson’s films and across literary works by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Kafka, whose visionary rethinkings of experience are akin to Bresson’s in their resistance to all forms of abstraction and classification that segregate aspects of reality.
Whether exploring Bresson’s efforts to reassess the limits of human reason and will, Dostoevsky’s subversions of Christian conventions, Tolstoy’s incompatible beliefs about death, or Kafka’s focus on creatures neither human nor animal, Cameron illuminates how the repeated juxtaposition of disparate, even antithetical, phenomena carves out new approaches to defining the essence of being, one where the very nature of fixed categories is brought into question. An innovative look at a classic French auteur and three giants of European literature, The Bond of the Furthest Apart will interest scholars of literature, film, ethics, aesthetics, and anyone drawn to an experimental venture in critical thought.
“After Auschwitz to write even a single poem is barbaric.” The Conflagration of Community challenges Theodor Adorno’s famous statement about aesthetic production after the Holocaust, arguing for the possibility of literature to bear witness to extreme collective and personal experiences. J. Hillis Miller masterfully considers how novels about the Holocaust relate to fictions written before and after it, and uses theories of community from Jean-Luc Nancy and Derrida to explore the dissolution of community bonds in its wake.
Miller juxtaposes readings of books about the Holocaust—Keneally’s Schindler’s List, McEwan’s Black Dogs, Spiegelman’s Maus, and Kertész’s Fatelessness—with Kafka’s novels and Morrison’s Beloved, asking what it means to think of texts as acts of testimony. Throughout, Miller questions the resonance between the difficulty of imagining, understanding, or remembering Auschwitz—a difficulty so often a theme in records of the Holocaust—and the exasperating resistance to clear, conclusive interpretation of these novels. The Conflagration of Community is an eloquent study of literature’s value to fathoming the unfathomable.
The conflation of reality and the fantastic, ambiguity, the relentless confrontation with horror, the fractured sense of identity: Franz Kafka created a wholly unique and enduring worldview through his literature and life, and he remains one of the central intellectual and cultural figures of our time. Sander L. Gilman brings together Kafka's literary works, personal writings, and biography to create a compelling and wholly accessible narrative of the literary master's life.
Gilman focuses on the relationship between Kafka's life and work, reconstructing both Kafka's cultural environment and the writer's conceptual understanding of his own body. Kafka's letters, diaries, and writings emerge in Gilman's analysis as windows into his ongoing attempt to create an identity in a world where being a Central European Jew dictated an uneasy fate. The volume emphasizes in particular the image and role of the Jew in Kafka's modern world and how Kafka responded to prevailing attitudes, repressive actions, and stereotypes in society at large. Gilman also examines the influence of psychoanalytic ideas on Kafka and his works, exploring how Kafka wove such psychoanalytic experiences into his literature. Gilman concludes with consideration of the "Kafka-myth" and the wealth of material emerging from it over the past eighty years, including work by such illustrious minds as Walter Benjamin and Ted Hughes.
Franz Kafka features illuminating archival photographs and illustrations as well as a comprehensive bibliography and filmography of work by and about Kafka. This succinct yet penetrating volume offers valuable and original insight into how Kafka's life and work shaped how we perceive our modern society and how, indeed, some aspect of the world is always "Kafkaesque."
Franz Kafka: Subversive Dreamer
Michael Löwy, translated by Inez Hedges University of Michigan Press, 2016 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z7691813 2016 | Dewey Decimal 833.912
Franz Kafka: Subversive Dreamer is an attempt to identify and properly contextualize the social critique in Kafka’s biography and work that links father-son antagonisms, heterodox Jewish religious thinking, and anti-authoritarian or anarchist protest against the rising power of bureaucratic modernity. The book proceeds chronologically, starting with biographical facts often neglected or denied relating to Kafka’s relations with the Anarchist circles in Prague, followed by an analysis of the three great unfinished novels—Amerika, The Trial, The Castle—as well as some of his most important short stories. Fragments, parables, correspondence, and his diaries are also used in order to better understand the major literary works. Löwy’s book grapples with the critical and subversive dimension of Kafka’s writings, which is often hidden or masked by the fabulistic character of the work. Löwy’s reading has already generated controversy because of its distance from the usual canon of literary criticism about the Prague writer, but the book has been well received in its original French edition and has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, and Turkish.
Franz Kafka, the Eternal Son: A Biography
Peter-André Alt, Translated from the German by Kristine A. Thorsen Northwestern University Press, 2018 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z568413 2018 | Dewey Decimal 833.912
Franz Kafka remains one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century. His novels, stories, and letters are still regarded today as the epitome of the dark, fascinating, and uncanny, a model of the modernist aesthetic. Peter-André Alt’s landmark biography, Franz Kafka, the Eternal Son, recounts and explores Kafka’s life and literary work throughout the cultural and political upheavals of central Europe.
Alt’s biography explores Franz Kafka’s own view of life and writing as a unity that shaped his identity. He locates links and echoes among the author’s work, life, and surroundings, situating him within the traditions of Prague's German literature, modernity, psychoanalysis, and philosophy as well as within its Jewish culture, arts, theater, and intellectual tradition.
In this biographical tour de force, Kafka emerges as an observant flaneur and wistful loner, an anxious ascetic, an ecstatic and skeptic, a specialist in terror, and a master of irony. Alt masterfully illuminates Kafka's life not as source material but as a mirror of his literary genius. Readers begin to see Kafka’s unforgettable novels and stories as shards reflecting the life of their creator.
Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine adds an original critical framework to the work begun by Stanley Corngold and Benno Wagner in their monumental collection Franz Kafka: The Office Writings (2008). It is widely acknowledged that Kafka’s daytime occupation as a specialist in industrial accident insurance contributed in a significant way to his fiction.
Corngold and Wagner frame Kafka’s writings as cultural events, each work reflecting the economic and cultural discourses of his epoch. In pursuing Kafka’s avowed interest in the theory and practice of insurance, the authors view the two systems of his literary worlds—the official and the personal—as a “bundling” together of the various cultural accidents of Kafka’s time. The work of two of the leading scholars of the single most influential writer of literary modernity, Franz Kafka: The Ghosts in the Machine constitutes a breathtakingly original advance in the study of both the more famous and less well-known works of this enigmatic master.
The Glory of Life
Michael Kumpfmüller Haus Publishing, 2014 Library of Congress PT2671.U454H47713 2014
The aftermath of Franz Kafka’s love affair with Dora Diamant is legend: refusing to honor his instructions to destroy his work when he died, Diamant saved Kafka’s writings and letters that were in her possession. These were later taken by the Nazis and are still being sought today. Her importance for Kafka’s literary legacy makes their all-too-brief relationship even more intriguing. Set over the course of his last year, The Glory of Life is compelling fictional re-imagining of this fragile, tender romance.
In July 1923, Kafka is convalescing by the Baltic Sea when he meets Diamant and they fall in love. He is forty years old and dying of tuberculosis; she is twenty-five and seems to him the essence of life. After a tentative first meeting, the indecisive Kafka moves with Diamant to Berlin, a city in the throes of political upheaval, rising anti-Semitism, and the turmoil of Weimar-era hyperinflation. As his tuberculosis advances, they are forced to leave the city for the Kierling Sanatorium near Vienna, a move that threatens the paradise they have created.
The first of Kumpfmüller’s novels to appear in English after his acclaimed The Adventures of a Bed Salesman, The Glory of Life is a meticulously researched and poignant portrait of one of the most enduring authors in world literature. Beautifully crafted, this book is an evocative rumination on the power of love and friendship.
Author E. Joseph Sharkey uses the philosophies of language of Hans-Georg Gadamer and Ludwig Wittgenstein to counter the skepticism in question by showing that a language grounded in history instead of the transcendent is grounded nevertheless.
Irony’s Antics marks a major intervention into the underexplored role of the comic and its relationship to irony in German letters.
Combining theoretical breadth with close textual analysis, Erica Weitzman shows how irony, a key term for the German romantics, reemerged in the early twentieth century from a postromantic relegation to the nonsensical and the nihilistic in a way that both rethought romantic irony and dramatically extended its reach.
Through readings of works by Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, and Joseph Roth against the rich history of comic theory (particularly Hegel and Freud), Weitzman traces the development of a specifically comic irony in modern German-language literature and philosophy, a play with the irony that is itself the condition for all play. She thus provides a crucial reevaluation of German literary history and offers new insights into the significance of irony and the comic from the Enlightenment to the present day.
Kafka and Cultural Zionism is an illumination of the individual Jewish identity of this major modernist German author. Through a thorough examination of Kafka's life, his influences, and his writings, Iris Bruce makes a case for Kafka's interest in Zionism and demonstrates the presence of Jewish themes and motifs in Kafka's literary works. In recognizing this essential part of Kafka's individual voice, Bruce hopes to provide a new perspective on Kafka and his writings that allows the reader to find the humor, playfulness, rebelliousness, and challenge that can be overlooked if the reader expects to find a Kafka who is disengaged from his ethnic and cultural identity, as well as the politics of his age.
A series of disruptive, unnerving sounds haunts the fictional writings of Franz Kafka. These include the painful squeak in Gregor Samsa's voice, the indeterminate whistling of Josefine the singer, the relentless noise in "The Burrow," and telephonic disturbances in The Castle. In Kafka and Noise, Kata Gellen applies concepts and vocabulary from film theory to Kafka's works in order to account for these unsettling sounds. Rather than try to decode these noises, Gellen explores the complex role they play in Kafka's larger project.
Kafka and Noise offers a method for pursuing intermedial research in the humanities—namely, via the productive "misapplication" of theoretical tools, which exposes the contours, conditions, and expressive possibilities of the media in question. This book will be of interest to scholars of modernism, literature, cinema, and sound, as well as to anyone wishing to explore how artistic and technological media shape our experience of the world and the possibilities for representing it.
In Kafka and Wittgenstein, Rebecca Schuman undertakes the first ever book-length scholarly examination of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language alongside Franz Kafka’s prose fiction. In groundbreaking readings, she argues that although many readers of Kafka are searching for what his texts mean, in this search we are sorely mistaken. Instead, the problems and illusions we portend to uncover, the im-portant questions we attempt to answer—Is Josef K. guilty? If so, of what? What does Gregor Samsa’s transformed body mean? Is Land-Surveyor K. a real land surveyor?— themselves presuppose a bigger delusion: that such questions can be asked in the first place. Drawing deeply on the entire range of Wittgenstein’s writings, Schuman can-nily sheds new light on the enigmatic Kafka.
Kafka Goes to the Movies
Hanns Zischler University of Chicago Press, 2002 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z37 2003 | Dewey Decimal 833.912
"Went to the movies. Wept. Matchless entertainment." So wrote Franz Kafka in one of his diaries, giving us but one hint of his little-known passion for the cinema. Until now, Kafka aficionados have been left to speculate about which films moved Kafka so powerfully and how those films might have influenced his writing. With Kafka Goes to the Movies, German actor and film director Hanns Zischler draws on years of detective work to provide the first account of Kafka's moviegoing life.
Since many of Kafka's visits to the cinema occurred during bachelor trips with Max Brod, Zischler's research took him not only to Kafka's native Prague but to film archives in Munich, Milan, and Paris. Matching Kafka's cinematic references to reviews and stills from daily papers, Zischler hunted down rare films in collections all across Europe. A labor of love, then, by a true man of the cinema, Kafka Goes to the Movies brims with discoveries about the pioneering years of European film. With a wealth of illustrations, including reproductions of movie posters and other rare materials, Zischler opens a fascinating window onto movies that have been long forgotten or assumed lost.
But the real highlights of the book are those about Kafka himself. Long considered one of the most enigmatic figures in literature, the Kafka that emerges in this work is strikingly human. Kafka Goes to the Movies offers an absorbing look at a witty, passionate, and indulgently curious writer, one who discovered and used the cinema as a place of enjoyment and escape, as a medium for the ambivalent encounter with modern life, and as a filter for the changing world around him.
In this classic of critical thought, Deleuze and Guattari challenge conventional interpretations of Kafka’s work. Instead of exploring preexisting categories or literary genres, they propose a concept of “minor literature”—the use of a major language that subverts it from within. Writing as a Jew in Prague, they contend, Kafka made German “take flight on a line of escape” and joyfully became a stranger within it. His work therefore serves as a model for understanding all critical language that must operate within the confines of the dominant language and culture.
Kafka's Blues proves the startling thesis that many of Kafka's major works engage in a coherent, sustained meditation on racial transformation from white European into what Kafka refers to as the "Negro" (a term he used in English). Indeed, this book demonstrates that cultural assimilation and bodily transformation in Kafka's work are impossible without passage through a state of being "Negro." Kafka represents this passage in various ways—from reflections on New World slavery and black music to evolutionary theory, biblical allusion, and aesthetic primitivism—each grounded in a concept of writing that is linked to the perceived congenital musicality of the "Negro," and which is bound to his wider conception of aesthetic production. Mark Christian Thompson offers new close readings of canonical texts and undervalued letters and diary entries set in the context of the afterlife of New World slavery and in Czech and German popular culture.
Kafka's Ethics of Interpretation refutes the oft-repeated claim, made by Kafka's greatest interpreters, including Walter Benjamin and Harold Bloom, that Kafka sought to evade interpretation of his writings. Jennifer L. Geddes shows that this claim about Kafka's deliberate uninterpretability is not only wrong, it also misconstrues a central concern of his work. Kafka was not trying to avoid or prevent interpretation; rather, his works are centrally concerned with it.
Geddes explores the interpretation that takes place within, and in response to, Kafka's writings, and pairs Kafka's works with readings of Sigmund Freud, Pierre Bourdieu, Tzvetan Todorov, Emmanuel Levinas, and others. She argues that Kafka explores interpretation as a mode of power and violence, but also as a mode of engagement with the world and others. Kafka, she argues, challenges us to rethink the ways we read texts, engage others, and navigate the world through our interpretations of them.
The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the Kafkaesque character of the American criminal justice system in 1993. While Kafka’s vision of the “Law” in The Trial appears at first glance to be the antithesis of modern American legal practice, might the characteristics of this strange and arbitrary system allow us to identify features of our own system that show signs of becoming similarly nightmarish?
With Kafka’s Law, Robert P. Burns shows how The Trial provides an uncanny lens through which to consider flaws in the American criminal justice system today. Burns begins with the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law’s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the features of the Law that eventually destroy K., Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on many of these same features. In the overwhelming majority of contemporary cases, police interrogation is followed by a plea bargain, in which the court’s only function is to set a largely predetermined sentence for an individual already presumed guilty. Like Kafka’s nightmarish vision, much of American criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It, too, has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protection of formal procedures. But, while Kennedy may be correct in his grim assessment, a remedy is available in the tradition of trial by jury, and Burns concludes by convincingly arguing for its return to a more central place in American criminal justice.
Kafka’s Other Prague: Writings from the Czechoslovak Republic examines Kafka’s late writings from the perspective of the author’s changing relationship with Czech language, culture, and literature—the least understood facet of his meticulously researched life and work.
Franz Kafka was born in Prague, a bilingual city in the Habsburg Empire. He died a citizen of Czechoslovakia. Yet Kafka was not Czech in any way he himself would have understood. He could speak Czech, but, like many Prague Jews, he was raised and educated and wrote in German. Kafka critics to date have had little to say about the majority language of his native city or its “minor literature,” as he referred to it in a 1913 journal entry. Kafka’s Other Prague explains why Kafka’s later experience of Czech language and culture matters.
Bringing to light newly available archival material, Anne Jamison’s innovative study demonstrates how Czechoslovakia’s founding and Kafka’s own dramatic political, professional, and personal upheavals altered his relationship to this “other Prague.” It destabilized Kafka’s understanding of nationality, language, gender, and sex—and how all these issues related to his own writing.
Kafka’s Other Prague juxtaposes Kafka’s German-language work with Czechoslovak Prague’s language politics, intellectual currents, and print culture—including the influence of his lover and translator, the journalist Milena Jesenská—and shows how this changed cultural and linguistic landscape transformed one of the great literary minds of the last century.
Klaus Wagenbach Haus Publishing, 2019 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z98213 2011
Nearly one hundred years after Franz Kafka’s death, his works continue to intrigue and haunt us. Kafka is regarded as one of the most significant intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and even for those who are only barely acquainted with his novels, stories, diaries, or letters, “Kafkaesque” has become a term synonymous with the menacing, unfathomable absurdity of modern existence and bureaucracy. While the significance of his fiction is wide-reaching, Kafka’s writing remains inextricably bound up with his life and work in a particular place: Prague. It is here that the author spent every one of his forty years.
Drawing from a range of documents and historical materials, this is the first book specifically dedicated to the relationship between Kafka and Prague. Klaus Wagenbach’s account of Kafka’s life in the city is a meticulously researched insight into the author’s family background, his education and employment, his attitude toward the town of his birth, his literary influences, and his relationships with women. The result is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic writer and the city that provided him with so much inspiration. W. G. Sebald recognized that “literary and life experience overlap” in Kafka’s works, and the same is true of this book.
Nonhuman figures are ubiquitous in the work of Franz Kafka, from his early stories down to his very last one. Despite their prominence throughout his oeuvre, Kafka’s animal representations have been considered first and foremost as mere allegories of intrahuman matters. In recent years, the allegorization of Kafka’s animals has been poetically dismissed by Kafka’s commentators and politically rejected by posthumanist scholars. Such critique, however, has yet to inspire either an overarching or an interdiscursive account. This book aims to fill this lacuna. Positing animal stories as a distinct and significant corpus within Kafka’s entire poetics, and closely examining them in dialogue with both literary and posthumanist analysis, Kafka’s Zoopoetics critically revisits animality, interspecies relations, and the very human-animal contradistinction in the writings of Franz Kafka.
Kafka’s animals typically stand at the threshold between humanity and animality, fusing together human and nonhuman features. Among his liminal creatures we find a human transformed into vermin (in “The Metamorphosis”), an ape turned into a human being (in “A Report to an Academy”), talking jackals (in “Jackals and Arabs”), a philosophical dog (in “Researches of a Dog”), a contemplative mole-like creature (in “The Burrow”), and indiscernible beings (in “Josefine, the Singer or the Mouse People”). Depicting species boundaries as mutable and obscure, Kafka creates a fluid human-animal space, which can be described as “humanimal.” The constitution of a humanimal space radically undermines the stark barrier between human and other animals, dictated by the anthropocentric paradigm. Through denying animalistic elements in humans, and disavowing the agency of nonhuman animals, excluding them from social life, and neutralizing compassion for them, this barrier has been designed to regularize both humanity and animality. The contextualization of Kafka's animals within posthumanist theory engenders a post-anthropocentric arena, which is simultaneously both imagined and very real.
There are sons who grow up unhappily believing that no matter what they do, they cannot please their fathers. Often unable to shed their sense of lifelong failure, either they give up and suffer in a permanent sulk, or they try with all their might to prove they are worth something after all. These are the "loser sons," a group of historical men as varied as President George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, and Mohammed Atta. Their names quickly illustrate that not only are their problems serious, but they also make serious problems for others, expanding to whole nations. When God is conceived and inculcated as an angry and impossible-to-please father, the problems can last for generations.
In Loser Sons, Avital Ronell draws on current philosophy, literary history, and political events to confront the grim fact that divested boys become terrifying men. This would be old news if the problem didn't recur so often with such disastrous consequences. Looking beyond our current moment, she interrogates the problems of authority, paternal fantasy, and childhood as they have been explored and exemplified by Franz Kafka, Goethe's Faust, Benjamin Franklin, Jean-François Lyotard, Hannah Arendt, Alexandre Kojève, and Immanuel Kant.
Brilliantly weaving these threads into a polyvocal discourse, Ronell shows how, with their arrays of powerful symbols, ideologies of all sorts perpetuate the theme that while childhood represents innocence, adulthood entails responsible cruelty. The need for suffering--preferably somebody else's--has become a widespread assumption, not only justifying abuses of authority, but justifying authority itself.
Shockingly honest, Loser Sons recognizes that focusing on the spectacular catastrophes of modernity might make writer and reader feel they're engaged in something important, while in fact what they are engaged in is still only spectacle. To understand the implications of her insights, Ronell addresses them directly to her readers, challenging them to think through their own notions of authority and their responses to it.
European social theorists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries tended to define modernity as a condition of heightened alienation in which traditional community is replaced by a regime of self‑interested individualism and collective isolation. In Private Anarchy, Paul Buchholz develops an alternative intellectual history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, showing how a strain of German-language literature worked against this common conception of modernity.
Buchholz suggests that in their experimental prose Gustav Landauer, Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, and Wolfgang Hilbig each considered how the "void" of mass society could be the precondition for a new, anarchic form of community that would rest not on any assumptions of shared origins or organic unity but on an experience of extreme emptiness that blurs the boundaries of the self and enables intimacy between total strangers. This community, Buchholz argues, is created through the verbal form most closely associated with alienation and isolation: the monologue.
By showing how these authors engaged with the idea of community and by relating these contributions to an extended intellectual genealogy of nihilism, Private Anarchy illustrates the distinct philosophical and sociopolitical stakes of German experimental writing in the twentieth century.
"I don't know of any other book that deals with the hermeneutical problem of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism in the way this one does. Full of cunning and unpredictable turns, Prodigal Son/Elder Brother addresses the question of the elder brother's fate by opposing two sets of readings, Christian and Jewish, ancient and modern, figural and midrashic. No one, after reading this book, will any longer connect Judaism and Christianity with a hyphen."—Gerald L. Burns, University of Notre Dame
"Through a creative reading of the prodigal son parable, Jill Robbins demonstrates the hermeneutical impasse of the Christian exegete who must and yet cannot incorporate the Old Testament. Having disclosed the aporia at the heart of Christian hermeneutics, she proposes an alternative approach to the Hebrew Bible and new interpretations of Augustine, Petrarch, Kafka, and Levinas. Robbins brilliantly integrates the discourses of biblical texts, literary works, and critical analysis."—Mark C. Taylor, Williams College
Franz Kafka was a self-conscious writer whose texts were highly if mysteriously autobiographical. Three giants of contemporary fiction—J. M. Coetzee, Philip Roth, and W. G. Sebald—have all acknowledged their debt to the work of Kafka, both in interviews and in their own academic essays and articles for a general readership about him. In this striking feat of literary scholarship, Daniel Medin finds that the use of Kafka by Coetzee, Roth, and Sebald is similarly self-reflexive and autobiographical. That writers from such divergent national and ethnic traditions can have such unique critical readings of Kafka, and that Kafka could exert such a powerful influence over their oeuvres, Medin contends, attests to the central place of Kafka in the contemporary literary imagination.
In a major rethinking of the functions, methods, and aims of narrative poetics, David Herman exposes important links between modernist and postmodernist literary experimentation and contemporary language theory. Ultimately a search for new tools for narrative theory, his work clarifies complex connections between science and art, theory and culture, and philosophical analysis and narrative discourse. Following an extensive historical overview of theories about universal grammar, Herman examines Joyce’s Ulysses, Kafka’s The Trial, and Woolf’s Between the Acts as case studies of modernist literary narratives that encode grammatical principles which were (re)fashioned in logic, linguistics, and philosophy during the same period. Herman then uses the interpretation of universal grammar developed via these modernist texts to explore later twentieth-century cultural phenomena. The problem of citation in the discourses of postmodernism, for example, is discussed with reference to syntactic theory. An analysis of Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover raises the question of cinematic meaning and draws on semantic theory. In each case, Herman shows how postmodern narratives encode ideas at work in current theories about the nature and function of language. Outlining new directions for the study of language in literature, Universal Grammar and Narrative Form provides a wealth of information about key literary, linguistic, and philosophical trends in the twentieth century.