Willumsen, Noah () Reading Kafka: Or, If You Find the Odradek, Kill It. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished). Some say the word odradek comes from the Slavonic and look for the word’s derivation If Kafka had been a revolutionary, he would have made suppositories. “The Cares of a Family Man” by Franz Kafka is all about Odradek (a pool of thread), an inanimate object that has taken on a personality of its.

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I ask myself, to no purpose, what is likely to happen to him? Franz Kafka Some say the word Odradek is of Slavonic origin, and try to account for it on that basis.

Worries of a Family Man : Mediations : Journal of the Marxist Literary Group

Check date values in: It sounds rather like the rustling of fallen leaves. With this detail, the physical description of Kafia — the description of a thingamajig — changes meaning: Then comes the superiority of an adult, created by the bonhomie with which he speaks of little Odradek. While Rammelmeier argues against clean-cut metaphorical interpretations of the story, he acknowledges that Odradek possesses some supernatural qualities, such as disappearance and reappearance.

This page was last edited on 9 Augustat Views Read Edit View history. Others again believe it to be of German origin, only influenced by Slavonic. This article possibly contains original research.

The Cares of a Family Man

Odradek, being made of thread for mending, represents the world of manmade practical objects separated from the human work that produced them, and the relation between the house father and Odradek represent the alienated relation between worker and commodities he has produced.

Inthe story appeared in Ein Landarzt. For other uses, see Odradek disambiguation. From the perspective of Marxist literary criticism the story might be a critique of Capitalism in its last stage. Anya Meksin agrees that this interpretation is possible from a Marxist perspective. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

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This interpretation of the word odraeek also consistent with the fact that Odradek seems to be a broken-down remnant of something. One is tempted to believe that the creature once had some sort of intelligible shape and is now only a brokendown remnant.

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Reading Kafka: Or, If You Find the Odradek, Kill It

Goetschel indicates that the star-shaped form of the creature might represent tradition specifically Jewish traditionwhich is passed on from generation to generation and accumulates some more bits of “thread” in each generation.

At first glance it looks like a flat star-shaped spool for thread, and indeed it does seem to have thread wound upon it; to be sure, they are only old, broken-off bits of thread, knotted and tangled together, of the most varied sorts and colors. The Complete Stories [New York: Allegorical readers of “Die Sorge des Hausvaters” have sought to tame the text and its wild creature, Odradek, by establishing stable correspondences between text and theory, replacing Odradek, in all its unknowability, with some element of their own understanding.

These details offer the reader the ability to examine and criticize the purpose and necessities of objects for things or people such as Odradek. The uncertainty of both interpretations permits one to conclude that neither applies, particularly since neither leads to a meaning for the word. Kafka’s texts serve as markers of ecstatic transformation that Kafka sought in the possibilities of writing.

To no avail, I ask myself what will become of him.

But it is not only a spool, for a small wooden crossbar sticks out of the middle of the star, and another small rod is joined to that at a right angle. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

No one, of course, would occupy himself with such studies if there were not a creature called Odradek. Odradek is mobile, colorful, irresponsible, free kkafka the system of obligations that bind the man to the family. It appears not unlike an exhausted spool for thread, wound about by “old, broken-off bits of thread, knotted and tangled together, of the most varied sorts and colors”.

Respectable in every regard, the family man is the unacknowledged partisan of destruction.

This creature and its description can be read from different points of view, since the text deliberately obscures the nature of Odradek and its purpose. And that is usually the end of the conversation. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The ULS Office of Scholarly Communication and Publishing fosters and supports new modes of publishing and information-sharing among researchers.


He adds that, due to the text’s stylistic dryness, a reader who reads the story through an ideological lens may find evidence for any interpretation they may wish to hold. The social place of a reconciled life on the bourgeois map cannot be named; but it is trash. Odradek represents commoditiesit is “what is left of life once everything is reduced to materialism”.

Per-Oskar Leu – Odradek

It is discovered that Odradek can speak, again seen as having human capabilities. Can he even die? It’s clear he does nobody any harm; but the notion that he might even outlive me is almost painful to me. For Kafka, the key to the world is made of tin, and can be found on the outskirts of towns. The anonymity of the voice is false. This twin recognition — of the existence of Odradek and of subjective unhappiness hidden only unsuccessfully by the reasonable public face — is what needs to be explicated.

The idea that Odradek will survive the narrator and the anguish this situation causes to him can also be interpreted as the idea of commodities being inherited and transcend the worker who made them, but in such a way that the worker himself would be completely ignored.

Steel cage wall clock, wire clock guard, steel angle ruler, various strings and cloth, glass, silicone. According to this school of thought, what hurts is kafkaa being a family man, but being mortal. He hangs around in the attic, on the stairway, in the hallways, in the entryway by turns.

Many a time when you go out of the door and he happens just to be leaning directly beneath you against the banisters you kkafka inclined to speak to him. This indicates that Odradek has no identifiable meaning, and therefore no apparent origin. Its brief, delicate arabesque is extremely violent and touches the nerve of an entire culture.