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n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - In der Nähe so fern : das Telefon als Medium der Sehnsucht in Franz Kafkas Roman "Das Schloss"
So near - so far : the telephone as medium of longing in Franz Kafka's novel "The Castle"
Kafka's fascination with the medium of the telephone, whose career as a communicative mass medium started in the twenties of the 20th century, is evident in the novel "The Castle"; the communicative paradox of distance and proximity, the power of the apparatus over the person one is talking to, and the play on identities. In the "cold medium" of the telephone (Marshal McLuhan), which refers to a person opposite who is not there, one can find a basic motif of the novel: the futile striving to become part of a communicating association. In a further frame the contribution focuses on the friction between a post-war society which is changing rapidly both technologically and socially, and the individual in the literary figure of the surveyor K.
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