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PossessedHypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema$
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Stefan Andriopoulos

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226020549

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226020570.001.0001

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Human and Corporate Bodies in Broch and Kafka

Human and Corporate Bodies in Broch and Kafka

(p.128) V Human and Corporate Bodies in Broch and Kafka

Stefan Andriopoulos

University of Chicago Press

This chapter turns back to narrative fiction. Tracing modernist literary representations of human and corporate bodies, it engages in a close reading of Hermann Broch's novel The Sleepwalkers (1928–32). The text appropriates medical notions of somnambulism while employing an increasingly depersonalized mode of narration that functions as a literary equivalent to legal and economic representations of corporate agency. Franz Kafka's novels The Castle (1922) and The Trial (1914–15), in turn, emphasize the somatic pressures exerted on K. through his dealings with an intangible “living” organization. By linking contemporary medical theories of neurasthenia to the description of bureaucratic “organisms,” Kafka's novels center on a merging of human and corporate bodies.

Keywords:   narrative fiction, Hermann Broch, Sleepwalkers, somnambulism, corporate agency, Franz Kafka, Castle, Trial, neurasthenia, human bodies

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