BEYOND HUMAN: THE FLIGHT TOWARDS AN ANIMAL IN THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN/CZECH LITERATURE (ČAPEK, KUNDERA—KAFKA, HAŠEK)

Jan Matonoha

Abstract


The objective of this paper is to argue—to put it somewhat emphatically—that European culture and society regards humanity highly while at the same time degrades and mutilates animals, physically or epistemologically, by exploiting, venerating and pampering them. As the paper tries to argue, these cultural and social attitudes would benefit from the radically deterritorializing schizophrenic treatment of Deleuze as it is anticipated in the works of two Central European modernist authors, Franz Kafka and Jaroslav Hašek.As to the outline of the paper, I would like to make few brief notes on the passagefrom the Nietzschean to Deleuzian tradition of an anti-humanist thinking (provided these two can be at all seen as distinct and separate), as well as on the anti-humanist topoi in Western and Central European literature. Second, on the backdrop of this brief and fragmented observation on the genealogy of anti-humanist writing, I would like to offer a further discussion of texts of the four Czech (or Central European) authors I indicate in the paper’s title.

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