Kafkaesque metamorphosis as reflected in the works of samir naqqash

Geula Elimelekh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Franz Kafka chose the complete metamorphosis of classical reality as the foundation of his world. His stories describe the deterioration and dehumanization of mankind and portray the world as dominated by demonic forces. An examination of the works of Samir Naqqash reveals that dehumanization and metamorphosis are recurring themes in his stories as well. Following in Kafka's footsteps, he uses imagery that exposes the falsehood and delusion that permeate human existence. Kafka also exposes the absurd in human existence, both on the national-Jewish level (namely the absurd existence of the modern Jew) and on the universal level (namely the absurdity of human life in general). Comparing his works to those of Naqqash, we find that the latter also focuses on a specific and local reality, namely the reality of Iraqi Jews, but at the same time addresses universal themes that characterize the human condition in the twentieth century. His works deal with the fate of man in a universe without boundaries or providence, and with man's illusory pursuit of reason and scientific achievement following the collapse of his spiritual and religious world. Kafka and Naqqash describe modern man as bereft of divine providence and abandoned to the helplessness of his human nature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-342
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Semitic Studies
Volume58
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

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