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NYU Prague: Kafka and His Contexts

Gallatin Study Away Course
SASEM-UG 9401, 4 credits
Level: Undergraduate
Gallatin requirement: HUM, GLOBAL

"A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us," wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka's life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its "claws", we will trace the possible sources of the writer's private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink (author of The Golem, about Prague’s ghetto) and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka's writing.

For the most up-to-date course schedule details and for information about NYU Prague, visit the NYU Prague homepage.