Saturday, April 25, 2020

Dickinson and Kafka

This semester, I've been having the pleasure of teaching a BA course on Emily Dickinson and an MA course on Franz Kafka. This has led to the pleasant (though ultimately unsurprising) discovery that Dickinson's poems and Kafka's prose have a lot in common. One way to characterize their commonality would be to say that Dickinson can be quite Kafkaesque, but that's not fair to Dickinson's own singularity, and one could just as well say that Kafka can be quite Dickinsonian. With their engaged but distanced gazes at the world and at language, they both explore the claims societies make on individuals and how one can respond to and even resist them.  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 25 April)

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