Critical Context

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on May 9, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165

Amerika (the title appended by his friend and biographer Max Brod) is Kafka’s least overtly parabolic work and his most realistic fiction. It is, nevertheless, decidedly Kafkaesque in that it portrays a world both comically and tragically absurd, a reality at once solid and dreamlike through which the hero, or...

(The entire section contains 165 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Amerika (the title appended by his friend and biographer Max Brod) is Kafka’s least overtly parabolic work and his most realistic fiction. It is, nevertheless, decidedly Kafkaesque in that it portrays a world both comically and tragically absurd, a reality at once solid and dreamlike through which the hero, or more properly the antihero, appears condemned to an endless and probably fruitless search for some stable identity, some final goal, some imperishable meaning that may or may not exist. Kafka’s world is like his fiction: incomplete and labyrinthine, a world and a text in which certainty is what hero and reader desire and ambiguity is what they receive. Above all, Amerika, like all Kafka’s stories and novels, is deeply autobiographical in its origins and implications. Still, the novel easily outstrips the limits of autobiographical and psychoanalytical interpretation. It is a text that does not so much describe and dramatize as evoke and unsettle, leaving the reader in endless confrontation with its enigma.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Amerika Study Guide

Subscribe Now