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Agamben's Joyful Kafka


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Introduction: Kafka's Hope 1. Strategies in Response to Law (1) 2. Strategies in Response to Law (2) 3. Strategies in Response to Bare Life 4. Strategies in Response to the 'Work of Man' 5. Strategies in Response to Activism 6. Strategies in Response to the Sacrality of Life 7. Strategies in Response to Language 8. Strategies in Response to Time (1) 9. Strategies in Response to Time (2) Conclusion: Finding Freedom Beyond Subordination Literature Index

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The first book to articulate the impact of Kafka on Agamben's thought

About the Author

Anke Snoek is Research Fellow in the Faculty of Arts, Macquarie University, Australia.


Agamben's Joyful Kafka is valuable both as a work of Agamben scholarship and as a work of Kafka criticism: understanding just how Agamben understands Kafka is extremely useful for finding and opening the joy in Kafka's work, and indispensable for coming to grips with the misunderstandings that have marked Agamben's. [...] Snoek's erudite study makes an important contribution to Agambenian philosophy. It also provides a unique and compelling literary and philosophical study of those moments of reversal which, to quote Benjamin slightly out of context, '. . . can make the incomplete (happiness) complete, and the complete (pain) incomplete.' * German Studies Review *
One of the greatest questions surrounding Giorgio Agamben's work today is how one might embody his complex conceptualizations of our social and cultural realities. Snoek's answer is quite simple: Kafka's perfectly blended surreal and yet all-too-human literary universe delivers us the most profound and pronounced insights into the highly theoretical work of Agamben. Moreover, as she ably demonstrates, this affinity between Kafka and Agamben is not a coincidence, but a combination of those particular elements central to understanding both authors' visions of our world. Snoek's in-depth analysis probes the darkest corners of modern life alongside two authors whose commentary on such matters almost singularly defines it. * Colby Dickinson, Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology, Loyola University Chicago, USA *
A richly rewarding-and much needed-study of the influence of Kafka in Agamben's work that casts new light on the provocative account of political freedom that he develops. * Catherine Mills, School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia *
"Anke Snoek's book fills an existing lacuna in biopolitical theory. Very little in the past generation came close to the explosion of intellectual power that emanated from Benjamin's reading of Kafka, or in ours, to the way Giogrio Agamben reads both. Snoek's comprehensive analysis of these intersections supplies a careful map of both moments for students of the present, and theory of potentialities." * Nitzan Lebovic, The Apter Chair of Holocaust Studies and Ethical Values, Lehigh University, USA *

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