Publication
Title
Only artists can transfigure: Kafka's artists and the possibility of redemption in the Novellas of David Foster Wallace
Author
Abstract
David Foster Wallace envisioned literature as a living interaction between reader and writer. Artistic fiction should aggravate the sense of loneliness and entrapment in the reader, Wallace argues, since any possible human redemption requires us first to confront what we want to deny. The following article examines the representation of the artist¡¯s role in this process by focusing on the two Wallace novellas that explicitly feature an artist figure ¨CWestward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (1989) and The Suffering Channel (2004). Contrary to the metafictional texts of Wallace¡¯s postmodernist forebears, both novellas display an almost obsessive preoccupation with the interrelatedness between the world and the work of art. It consequently appears that a model for Wallace¡¯s prototypical artist can be found in the artist stories of Franz Kafka, the author admired by Wallace for his ability to put the worst into language. While Theodor Adorno claims that Kafka¡¯s stories transmit a consciousness of the negativity of the world, postmodern self©\reflexivity only transmits a consciousness of itself. An interpretation of Wallace¡¯s novellas in relation to his reading of Kafka can therefore illustrate how the author attempts to go beyond the representational aporias of canonical postmodernism.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Orbis litterarum. - Copenhague
Publication
Copenhague : 2010
ISSN
0030-4409
0105-7510
Volume/pages
65:6(2010), p. 459-480
ISI
000283981800002
Full text (Publishers DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 18.11.2010
Last edited 14.05.2017
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