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Modern Austrian Novel: Endless Wanderings in the Labyrinths of Kafka's Castle


The purpose of the article is to discuss the perception of Kafka's The Castle (Das Schloss, 1922) in the novels The Peaches Killers (Die Pfirsichtöter, 1972) by Alfred Kolleritsch, Among the Bieresch (Bei den Bieresch, 1979) by Klaus Hoffer and Into the Castle (Ins Schloss, 2004) by Marianne Gruber. The reference to the writers and their works is no coincidence; preference is given to the artists whose creative manner reflects the most fashionable trends in Western European literary process - from avant-garde to postmodernism. The authors of the article deliberately arrange the analysed works in chronological order to follow the stages in the development of German postmodernism which originates from modernist literature. The universal Kafkaesque discourse suggests the existence of direct and inverse connections between the author and the reader, the extra-textual tradition and reality. The article focuses on the narrative strategies of Austrian avant-garde (Kolleritsch), analyses postmodern discourse (Hoffer, Gruber) in the Austrian literature of the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries, reveals signs of typological similarity between the novels by Kafka, Kolleritsch, Hoffer, and Gruber, which seems productive for understanding the influence of modernist literature on the development of the postmodern paradigm in the German-language literary space. Austrian literature, to a greater extent, is fraught with the search for new forms of self-expression rather than with the artistic “overcoming the past” - the awareness of collective guilt.  It brought to the forefront the authors in whose works the age of change was reflected. Literary avant-garde has been replaced by authors who skillfully “play” with the previous culture and establish a dialogue with the present. The comparative methodology is to reveal the perception of "Kafkaesque discourse" in modern Austrian literature and to draw conclusions about the ways authors treat ontological questions.


Kafka, Kolleritsch, Gruber, Hoffer, Austrian Avant-Gardism, Kafkaesque Discourse, Postmodernism


Author Biography

Marina Shastina

PhD student at German Philology Department.

Lyudmila Trofimova

PhD student at German Philology Department.

Anatolii Borisov

PhD in Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor at the department of English Philology and cross-cultural communications.


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