an ellipse with foci that are far apart and are determined

Kafka's work is an ellipse with foci that are far apart and are determined, on the one hand, by mystical experience (in particular, the experience of tradition) and, on the other, by the experience of the modern big-city dweller.

[Illuminations 141]






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Foci of a Dialectic
The "modern big-city dweller" experiences phantasmagoria, a phantasmagoria Kafka creates by writing tradition ("mystical experience") into the modern experience. Kafka turns a weightless, ephemeral, arbitrary city experience into one that is heavy, dee...
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