Walter Benjamin Franz Kafka

October 12, 2015
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You start with the correspondence between Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem (or even before that, whenever Martin Buber became certainly one of Franz Kafka's very first writers) interpretations, speculations, and responses to Kafka's Judaism became therefore considerable throughout the twentieth century as to virtually constitute a whole minor literary works. Meditations about how precisely and to what degree Kafka expected or represented the incoming Holocaust regarding the European Jewry include an important component of many grant along these lines.

Kafka and Jewish mysticism[edit]

On January 16, right after he Kafka began to compose (that he never ever finished), Kafka penned inside the diary that he had "suffered something very like a dysfunction." Close to the end of entry he wrote:

"All such writing is an assault on all will certainly have developed into a brand new secret doctrine, a Kabbalah. You will find intimations of this. Though needless to say it could need wizard of an unimaginable type to strike root again in old hundreds of years, or create the old hundreds of years anew and never invest itself withal, but only then start to flower forth."

Though their diaries were not posted until 1948, there is a tiny but intense vortex of discussion about Kafka as some sort of 'secular Jewish mystic.' Kafka became the object of inquiry and conversation in a correspondence between two German-Jewish intellectuals who will be on their own usually considered 20th century mystics: Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem.

In 1937, Scholem who's generally speaking acknowledged is the president of contemporary, academic research for the Kabbalah, penned about Kafka in a page to Salman Schocken. Scholem stated whenever he read the Czech writer alongside the Pentateuch together with Talmud during a period of intensive research and thoughts of 'the most rationalistic doubt' about their section of study, "I [found in Kafka] the perfect and unparalleled expression with this fine line [between religion and nihilism] a manifestation which, as a secular statement for the Kabbalistic world-feeling in a contemporary character, seemed to us to put Kafka's writings inside halo regarding the canonical."

Scholem sent this letter to Schocken from Berlin to Jerusalem—where Scholem was briefly to follow after their publisher, as Nazi aggression in the homeland continued to ramp up prior to the arrival of World War II. In next year, involving the Anschluss and crossing regarding the Vistula on Summer 12 of 1938, Benjamin wrote to Scholem from European countries:

"The long therefore the lacking it really is that apparently an appeal needed to be meant to the forces for this [ancient, naive mystical] custom if someone (called Franz Kafka) was to be met with that truth of ours which realizes it self in theory, as an example, in modern-day (quantum and relativistic) physics, and practically within the technology of modem warfare. The reason to express is this reality can without any much longer be experienced by a person, and therefore Kafka's globe, frequently of these playfulness and interlaced with angels, may be the specific complement of their period that will be getting ready to get rid of the residents of this world on a considerable scale. The ability which corresponds to that of Kafka, the private person, will probably not be available to the masses until such time because they are being carried out away with."

Gershom Scholem was not alone among thinking individuals when he later read these lines as having some prophetic significance in respect towards onrushing tragedy which befell the Jews into the European Holocaust.

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