The Elective Affinities between Simmel, Weber and Kafka

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Flávio FARIA, Asa Norte, Brazil
The present article seeks to trace a few affinities between the literature of Franz Kafka and the classical sociological theory of Georg Simmel and Max Weber. However, Simmel is the main author in this theoretical construction, since the proximity between him and Kafka is much stronger than with Weber. This affinities will be elective according to the contingent characteristics, consonants or dissonants, between this three authors. Therefore, the substance which ascends in this matter and its confrontations takes to a solid theory of modern life and, for this reason, the objective of this article will be show it under the aegis of kafkian literature. Also, the essay of Walter Benjamin about Franz Kafka will be used, along with various essays of Simmel, as a guide for the whole work.

A literature, how Lukács has already stated, in which pale its scenarios, its world while a perspective of superficiality, its images, have capacity to be sociologically apprehended. There is, in Kafka, the critical compromise with what defines the modern life, with what is caused by the spirit and the culture: the subjectivity in dialog, or distance, with the social context and its conflictcs. Equally, the social types created by Georg Simmel reflects this same preoccupation.

This work proposes to approach three pieces of Franz Kafka: The Metamorphosis (1912), The Trial (1914) and Contemplation (1914). The first one is a novella, the second one is a romance and the latter one is a short-story collection. The following pieces represents main works from Franz Kafka and, therefore, this selection might be enough to a precise analysis of kafkian terms and its connection with those two classical sociologists, always in the attempt to reach new concepts and interpretations about modernity.