Wood, Michael

Michael Wood is Charles Barnwell Straut Professor of English, Princeton University and Director, Christian Gauss Seminars in Criticism, Princeton University. Previously Professor of English Literature, University of Exeter, Professor Wood has taught and travelled widely and externally examined at the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Warwick, Reading and York. He is a regular contributor to: London Review of Books, New York Review of Books, Observer, The Times, TLS and others. His many publications include: Stendhal (1971), Garcia Marquez: One Hundred Years of Solitude (1990) and Children of Silence: Studies in Contemporary Fiction (1998).

Publications by this author:

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Franz Kafka


A study, through close attention to his language, of the way Franz Kafka invented (or seemed to invent) the twentieth century as we have come to experience it.

Description: This is a study of Kafka’s writing in the context both of his own complicated world – that of a Czech Jew writing in German within a crumbling empire – and of the later world he seems uncannily to have predicted. Once regarded as a writer of dreamlike fantasies, he is now seen as an expert guide to the all too real darknesses of our time. ‘Do you think we would arrest someone who hasn’t done anything?’ This question, as J P Stern reminds us, might have come from a book by Kafka, but doesn’t. It is the remark of a Gestapo officer to a Jewish woman about to be taken to a death camp. I concentrate firmly on Kafka’s language and on his ideas about writing, but not to the exclusion of history or politics. On the contrary. Language in this context is history and politics, a privileged point of access to Kafka’s understanding of his time and ours.


Author: Wood, Michael


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