Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Stephen Graham Jones

Second Advisor

Elisabeth Sheffield

Third Advisor

Mary Klages

Abstract

Kafkaesque: The fact that such a term exists implies that there is a unifying quality to the manner in which Franz Kafka chose to handle the element of space in his work. After a thorough review of some of his bibliography it became apparent to me that if such a unifying quality exists, it is perhaps most obvious and definable by the pervasive presence of absence. In many of Kafka's novels and works of short fiction, descriptions of space are almost entirely omitted. Entire narratives take place in a single room, often described as simply "a room". Horizons are identified merely as "the horizon". Kafka employs such a minimalist descriptive style in relationship to the element of space that it is what is not said about the worlds he created that is often more interesting than what is. There are a few notable exceptions to Kafka's absence space in his work. While these bursts of illustrative language hardly seem notable during a time where realism in literature is quite ordinary, they are fairly rare in Kafka's work.

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