Franz Kafka’s personal interest in and contact with the anarchist movement have been fairly well documented, and many have pointed to affinities between his work and anarchist ideas. At the same time, a growing body of scholarship has documented the influence of anarchist politics on modernist aesthetics per se, primarily in terms of a shared resistance to representation—a project that Kafka appears not to share, or at least one he pursues in a very different way. This essay redescribes the strategies of representation found at work in novels such as The Trial and stories such as “The Refusal” in relation to anarchism, and thereby to contribute to a better understanding both of Kafka’s political engagements and his unique form of narrative realism.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.