Of sirens silent and loud : the language wars of Joyce and KafkaOf sirens silent and loud : the language wars of Joyce and Kafka
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Literature and Modernity
2011Tulsa, Okla., 2011
James Joyce quarterly. - Tulsa, Okla., 1963, currens
49(2011):1, p. 41-55
Neither James Joyce nor Franz Kafka was able to regard his native language as completely his own, yet neither chose to write in an alternative one. Instead, they attacked language as they wrotean assault that both authors conducted by including foreign languages: Yiddish in the case of Kafka; Irish, Italian, Latin, and myriad others in the case of Joyce. This essay explores the ways in which Kafka and Joyce employ these foreign languages in their work. Where in Kafka the "other" languages are never present on the surface but are hidden underneath his perfect standard German, in Joyce, conversely, the languages are in plain view. I suggest that these two different approaches are, in reality, two sides of the same linguistic coin.