25.3.11

Franz Kafka, Sleep and Transformation

'Kafka stays awake during the gaps when we are sleeping.'
Franz Kafka, drawn by Robert Crumb.
Stephen Mitchelmore of This Space considers the life of Franz Kafka alongside psychiatrist Aaron Mishara's literary criticism:
It's been said that stories such as A Country Doctor are expanded metaphors but, according to the psychiatrist Aaron Mishara, Kafka's staying awake while others slept had a direct influence on his fiction and that Costello was literally correct; no metaphor is involved. Mishara's remarkable paper Kafka, paranoic doubles and the brain claims that Kafka suffered from dream-like hallucinations during a sleep-deprived state while writing and that his work "provides data about the structure of the human self. That is, it documents processes "that are not limited to the individual's experience of self in its historical context, nor the individual's 'autobiographical' memory, but reflect the very structure of human self as a transformative process of self-transcendence".

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