Approaches to Teaching Kafka’s Short Fiction

  • Editor: Richard T. Gray
  • Pages: xiv & 161 pp.
  • Published: 1995
  • ISBN: 9780873527255 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873527262 (Paperback)
Approaches to Teaching Kafka's Short Fiction Cover

Ever since English-speaking readers “discovered” Kafka in the 1950s, his works have been a cornerstone of undergraduate world literature studies. Hoping to make Kafka and the modernist writing he represents more accessible to students, the editor and twelve contributors to this volume explain how they present “one of the most taught and least understood writers of our century.”

The book, like others in the MLA Approaches to Teaching World Literature series, is divided into two parts. Part 1, “Materials,” surveys resources useful for classroom instruction, such as dual-language editions, critical studies, reference works, and audiovisual aids. Part 2, “Approaches,” comprises thirteen essays that focus on ways to teach five of Kafka’s stories—”The Judgment,” The Metamorphosis, “In the Penal Colony,” “A Country Doctor,” and “A Hunger Artist”—and also provide strategies for teaching Kafka’s other works of short fiction. The approaches described include teaching Kafka as a modernist writer, reading Kafka in a second-year German course, studying the stories alongside the expressionist film classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and examining Kafka’s treatment of his female characters. Intended for those who teach Kafka in translation or in the original, Approaches to Teaching Kafka’s Short Fiction presents fresh ideas that have been tested and refined by experienced instructors.