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Kafkas „Könige“: Urheberschaft und semantische Leere in einer Zürauer Parabel

Sandra Kluwe

Pages 87 - 97

The article reads Kafka’s Zürau note on „kings“ and „couriers“ of the kings – a note dating from 2 December 1917 – as a parable, rather than an aphorism, dealing with the dilemma of absolute parables without being totally absolute itself. Acknowledging restrained referentiality, the „kings“ are interpreted as warranty of semantic content and philosophical episteme. As originators and guardians of language as well as art of language, the author-authority of the „kings“ ensures the value of what is to be communicated. The „couriers“ are not capable of creating such original value, and „as there are no kings“, the messengers remain without message. However, the very negativity and absurdity of their communicative activity hides the positive utopia of the „king“ as of an inextinguishable promise of sense and literary dialogue.


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