Beyond the Uncanny: Weiner’s War and Kafka’s Message Cover Image

Beyond the Uncanny: Weiner’s War and Kafka’s Message
Beyond the Uncanny: Weiner’s War and Kafka’s Message

Author(s): Peter A. Zusi
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Recent History (1900 till today)
Published by: Nakladatelství Lidové noviny
Keywords: Weiner’s War ; Kafka’s Message; Kafka; Weinar; Kostajnik

Summary/Abstract: This article presents a close reading of Richard Weiner’s story “Kostajnik” (1916), which portrays a Czech officer’s emotional tumult as his Austrian unit approaches Serbian forces on the mountain of Kostajnik. This mountain functions in the story as a symbol of the uncanny that, to an extraordinary degree, anticipates Freud’s famous essay “Das Unheimliche” (The Uncanny 1919). Yet Weiner transforms this symbol in a way that goes beyond the Freudian uncanny. A comparable shift is discernible within Kafka’s short text “Eine kaiserliche Botschaft” (An Imperial Message, 1919). This article proposes that such a move beyond the interpretive categories one might expect to structure these texts constitutes a shared feature of Kafka’s and Weiner’s modernism.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 23/1-2
  • Page Range: 169-180
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English