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Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature
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Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  1,120 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
In Kafka Deleuze and Guattari free their subject from his (mis)interpreters. In contrast to traditional readings that see in Kafka's work a case of Oedipalized neurosis or a flight into transcendence, guilt, and subjectivity, Deleuze and Guattari make a case for Kafka as a man of joy, a promoter of radical politics who resisted at every turn submission to frozen hierarchie ...more
Paperback, (Theory and History of Literature, Vol 30), 136 pages
Published October 31st 1986 by Univ Of Minnesota Press (first published 1975)
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Alex Lee
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This tiny book reads like a chapter out of Thousand Plateaus. It's brilliant, erudite and deep. Deleuze and Guattari show how the different topographies of Kafka's novels reflect onto the bureaucratic realism that has swallowed today whole. They explain that it takes a deterritorialized language, an impoverished language in order to highlight the repetition that is generated by separate domains intruding on one another. In fact the "k-function" becomes a stand-in for generic subjectivity. This i ...more
Aug 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theory
The last essay I ever composed for grade concerned this book and the (very) Minor Literature of Isabel Allende. That strikes me as incomprehensible in this day and age, where everything is surface and seditious. I appreciate D's arguments about a subversion via a dominant language. I can't believe I read all those Allende novels. One shouldn't bother with my bastardizing Deleuze's coherent exposition. Youth.
It was stumbling across the concept of "minor literature" and the "minor author" that my thesis turned an important corner, and even if I eventually had to cut out all the sections explicitly referencing the theory it still integrally informs the theoretical underpinnings that developed around my thoughts and ideas.

What I love about Deleuze and Guattari's idea is how counter-intuitive it is—if Kafka's not a "major" author, than who can be? But the two French theorists aren't thinking about issu
Özlem Güzelharcan
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Bazı kitapların gerçekten iyi reklamı yapılıyor. Reklamcıları tebrik etmek gerek. Bir koşu gidip heyecanla bu kitabı almıştım ve şu an büyük hayal kırıklığı yaşıyorum.

Eğer okurken "köksap" "dilin yersizyurtsuzlaştırılması" "bireyleştirilmiş bir söylecem" "kolektif söylecem düzenlemeleri" "altkesitliliğin doğası" gibi kelime ve söylemleri her iki paragrafta bir duymaktan ve kupkuru bir tezvari anlatıma tabi olmaktan gocunmazsanız bu kitabı sevebilirsiniz.

Aksi taktirde gidip Kafka kitaplarını yeni
David M
I read this book a few years ago at my friend's insistence, and at the time I sent him my reaction in an email:

Well, their reading struck me as a little forced, an attempt to liberate Kafka, turn him on his head, make him into the opposite of what everyone thinks he is. I found this unconvincing; not just unconvincing but also limiting, as limiting as a strictly oedipal interpretation. Here I think Foucault is useful: liberation marks not a radical rupture but a mere inflection point in the h
Mohammed Yusuf
Sep 15, 2016 rated it liked it

على الرغم مما يضيفه الكتاب للقارئ من ابعاد عن كافكا وكتاباته الا انني لم احبذ فكرة أن يجلبه الكاتبان الى عالمهما بدلا من الذهاب الى عالمه هو

Apr 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literary-theory
Forward by scholar recalls that D&G’s language regarding “the idea of the machine producing effects is not used metaphorically or symbolically but always in the most concrete sense” (xv).

Translator introduces the text with:
Even the key words of the Deleuze-Guattari procedure, words like rhizome, lines of escape, assemblage, become battle-sites for a process of deterritorialization as the authors violate their own proprietary authorship of terms and make the words tremble, stutter. […] Seemi
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
During my stint as a fledgling academic at the turn of the century, Deleuze was central to pretty much all I was doing, even when I was not addressing this fact (perhaps especially then), precisely because my encounter w/ him was the ecstatic kind typical of a reader discovering an unexpected and extremely intense filiation. I had already thunk ghosts of the thoughts he explored at great and exhilarating length. The work w/ Guattari was especially electric for me, and may have indeed done me som ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
nói chung có cảm giác mình chưa hiểu lắm các khái niệm trong sách nhưng mình học được nhiều thứ lắm. và cũng hiểu được thêm tại sao Kafka kinh dữ vậy. ý là trước mình đã thấy ổng kinh rồi, giờ thấy càng kinh. cho 4 sao vì mình ko hiểu hết nên ko dám khẳng định chắc nịch, nhưng mà hay lắm.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Writing against the current and from a linguistic space that is radically heterogeneous with respect to his great predecessors, Kafka appears as the initiator of a new literary continent: a continent where reading and writing open up new perspectives, break ground for new avenues of thought, and, above all, wipe out the tracks of an old topography of mind and thought. With Kafka—at least with the Kafka that Deleuze and Guattari think through anew—one has the feeling that literature has been giv
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
An amazingly complex little book on Kafka and literature of the minorities in major languages. Deleuze elaborates his concept of art as affect and what better example of art as affect than the writings of Franz Kafka. Kafka's very words themselves smell of the helplessness of his characters in face of a system against which they can never win. Narratives happen to them, they don't drive their stories of the whips and scorns of time,the oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely, the pangs of d ...more
Tasniem Sami
والتر بينجاميىن كان علق على ان كافكا لايجب تأويله علي الجانبين السيكولوجي أو الجانب الميتافيزيقي الثيولوجي ، ومن هنا تقريباً نشأت فكرة ان كافكا مش
Major writer
وبالتالي فرضية ال minor literature
المُلفت للنظر ان طول الوقت تأويل بينجامين لكافكا كان علي شكل -على حد تعبيره -
"Gesture "
مثلاً ، بينجامين ماعندوش تفسير أو تأويل لإشكالية وجود القانون عند كافكا ...بينجامين كان بيتعامل مع وجود الموظفين والقضاة والطبيعة الترانسدنتالية للقانون عند كافكا بطريقة مختلفة عن دولوز ، دولوز حلل مفهوم العدالة وبال
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
İlk birkaç bölümü çok sıkıcı, fakat giderek açılan ve kendisini okutan bir kitap. Kafka üzerine düşündürmesi bakımından değerli ama roman kuramı üzerine çok da derinlikli bir çaba olduğunu söyleyemeyeceğim. Deleuze ve Guattari'nin Kafka eserlerinin alt metnine ödipal takıntıları, neredeyse ensesti ve sübyancılığı yakıştıran aşırı psikanaliz okumaları ise doğrusu hiç hoşuma gitmedi. Kitaba dair en büyük hayal kırıklığım da bu nokta oldu. Kafka ısrarla "bana aşırı okumalarla, metafor gözlükleriyle ...more
Jun 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: thugs and hos on knees and elbows, i don't know.

Interesting if you're interested in Kafka, interested in reading assumptions (Deleuzean assumptions) regarding Kafka's creative idiosyncrasies.
Ted Moisan
Nov 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: kafka
Hooray for the death of Oedipal psychobabble! Go read this book, it's short and you'll look really smart.
Vanessa Garza
Dec 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es muy bueno, para releerse
Nikki Skinner
May 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is as it is
Nov 25, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
je sais ça ne marche pas depuis le moment qu'ils insèrent les 'théories' freudiens
Karl Hallbjörnsson
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Reading this work was somewhat disappointing.

Chapter 3 on Minor Literature was the most interesting and felt lucid enough, and I believe I really managed to get the gist of it, as well as the central motif of the work: Kafka is an example of a Minor Literature, a body of text or writing through the medium of a major language by a minority group, a subversive literature of escape that manages to hold political significance without being an escapism or a refuge. Jam-packed with references to Kafk
Guilherme Miorando
Que livro chato, sacal, pedante! Um texto incrivelmente impermeável que não facilita a vida, pelo contrário, dificulta, numa linguagem de difícil acesso mesmo para quem está acostumado com leituras mais heavyweight. Uma análise muito freudiana das coisas como se tudo na literatura de Kafka se reduzisse ao sexo, ao incesto, à homossexualidade e o desejo pela devassidão. Se o Sigi estivesse vivo, iria babar. Se Kafka estivesse vivo, iria implorar pelo túmulo. Engraçado que li outros livros de Dele ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Kafka: Towards a Minor Literature is Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s contribution to the Theory and History of Literature Series, it being volume No. 30. Since the Deleuze/Guattari collaboration is known for such philosophical works asA Thousand Plateaux andAnti-Oedipus, it meant that reading Kafka wasn’t like reading Hemingway; nevertheless, it isn’t as thick as Nietzsche or Joyce and, while slow reading, the meaning of what Deleuze&Guattari are explaining is easy to follow.

I picked it
Onur Öztemir
May 06, 2017 rated it liked it
very graphic. this book does not approach kafka as if his writings are parables from which some deeper meanings must be derived, but tries to describe some fictional patterns and character types in kafka's work. however, their descriptions are so in depth and detailed it doesn't give the impression of restricting your reading experience but make your exprience understandable to you, but i'm not giving 5 stars, since there was this part about minor literature which i really couldnt grasp, nor cou ...more
Ross Mcelwain
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Butch and Sundance at mostly their best but occasionally their worst. It's the material about 'minor literature' that feels the most unsatisfying to me - they define it so broadly (basically, in the end, as any literature that they admire and which has a revolutionary potential) as to render the concept meaningless. They also seem to overlook the problem that Kafka is simultaneously both 'minor' (in their sense) and 'major' - yes, his work may relate directly to the cultural and linguistic 'mino ...more
Mar 02, 2010 rated it it was ok
Deleuze's and Guattari's book, focusing primarily on The Trial, had some really interesting ideas: the idea of the deterritorialization of language among minority cultures, and the three possible outcomes of K's trial as the three possibilities in erotic encounter. However, I felt that some of the ideas were not pull out in order to discuss their larger implications on the literature. For example, The Metamorphosis is an example of becoming-animal, but what does becoming-animal signify? The dens ...more
Jun 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This short volume by Deleuze and Guattari is invaluable in its demonstration of the authors' reading method and extraction of concepts from literature. It is also helpful in that it provides a conceptual bridge between the work the two did in Anti-Oedipus and in A Thousand Plateaus.

Even having read none of Kafka's work, the theoretical concerns present here were argued in a manner such that little to no knowledge of Kafka was really necessary though I'm sure it would've been helpful. On the fli
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Deleuze, but this just ruins what I find fun about Kafka...takes the joy out of reading him, which is something that Deleuze was not trying to do necessarily, but it is an interesting read nonetheless...just loses some of the subtle humor in Kafka in favor of over the top oppression studies. Not that theres anything wrong with that, its just that Kafka creates literary modes that present oppressions where there is no what exactly is the point, just give up hope and focus on th ...more
Dec 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theory
D&G say, hey you creeps, HERE is what kafka is good for. chuck out your hack interpretations of the man and get beyond the psycho-babble. From out of the laughter of the abyss Kafka's work is a rejection of complacency and failure; he was making way for a new way to see the world...

i like these guys

Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
A difficult book at first, but once you get into the language, it's eye-opening. While I am not a Kafka scholar, the larger implications of minor literature and deterritorialization have influenced me a ton. Still worth it if you don't have any interest in Kafka, but you might have to do a little leg work to tease out the ideas.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yersizyurtsuzlaşma, yerliyurtlulaşma, köksap, sözce, sözcelem, yasanın aşkınlığı, arzunun içkinliği, almaşık, arzu-madde, hayvan-oluş, altkesitli, aile hayvanı, insan hayvanı vb. sözcükler okumayı zorlaştırsa da bir süre sonra aşinalık oluşuyor. Dönüşüm, Dava, Hayvan Hikayeleri, Şato ve Babaya Mektup eserlerinin incelemesi güzel. Genel olarak Psikanalize karşı bakış açısı var kitabın.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Es ist interessant, als ein Interpretationsversuch. Ich denke, man muss aufpassen; das, das hier als die kleine Literatur genannt ist, ist nicht das Werk selbst, das dem Leser gegenüber steht. Sondern es ist vielmehr ein Prozess eines Lesens.
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Deleuze is a key figure in postmodern French philosophy. Considering himself an empiricist and a vitalist, his body of work, which rests upon concepts such as multiplicity, constructivism, difference and desire, stands at a substantial remove from the main traditions of 20th century Continental thought. His thought locates him as an influential figure in present-day considerations of society, crea ...more
More about Gilles Deleuze...
“How many people today live in a language that is not their own? Or no longer, or not yet, even know their own and know poorly the major language that they are forced to serve? This is the problem of immigrants, and especially of their children, the problem of minorities, the problem of a minor literature but also a problem for all of us: how to tear a minor literature away from its own language, allowing it to challenge the language and making it follow a sober revolutionary path? How to become a nomad and an immigrant and a gypsy in relation to one's own language? Kafka answers: steal the baby from its crib, walk the tight rope.” 8 likes
“Of course, Kafka doesn't see himself as a sort of party. He doesn't even pretend to be revolutionary, whatever his socialist sympathies may be. He knows that all the lines link him to a literary machine of expression for which he is simultaneously the gears, the mechanic, the operator, and the victim. So how will he proceed in this bachelor machine that doesn't make use of, and can't make use of, social critique? How will he make a revolution?

He will act on the German language such as it is in Czechoslovakia. Since it is a deterritorialized language in many ways, he will push the deterritorialization farther, not through intensities, reversals and thickenings of the language but through a sobriety that makes language take flight on a straight line, anticipates or produces its segmentations. Expression must sweep up content; the same process must happen to form... It is not a politics of pessimism, nor a literary caricature or a form of science fiction.”
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