The Deconstruction and Reification of Law in Franz Kafka's 'Before the Law' and 'The Trial'

44 Pages Posted: 24 May 2009

See all articles by Patrick J. Glen

Patrick J. Glen

Government of the United States of America - Department of Justice

Date Written: March 6, 2009

Abstract

This article explores the philosophical nature of law as depicted by Kafka in his two most famous writings on the subject, "Before the Law," and "The Trial." The substantive portions of this article deal with postmodern and neo-Marxist accounts of Kafka's law, which are both rejected in favor of a synthesis of ideology culminating in law as the necessity of punishment. Although many articles have been written dealing with Kafka from a law and literature perspective, this is the only article I am aware of that deals with Kafka's law on its on terms, i.e., within the bounds of his writings, and interpreted in purely philosophical terms. In essence, this article attempts to establish a foundation for the legitimacy of studying Kafka from a legal, and not solely literary, perspective.

Keywords: Law & Literature, Kafka, Legal Theory, Philosophy of Law, Reification, Postmodernism

Suggested Citation

Glen, Patrick James, The Deconstruction and Reification of Law in Franz Kafka's 'Before the Law' and 'The Trial' (March 6, 2009). Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 17, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1354703

Patrick James Glen (Contact Author)

Government of the United States of America - Department of Justice ( email )

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
United States
202-305-7232 (Phone)

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