Kafka’s Architectures

Doors, Rooms, Stairs and Windows of an Intricate Literary Edifice


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About the Book

Adopting Kafka as a lens to examine modern concepts in architecture, this book pries open new interpretations in Kafka scholarship. Each of eight chapters takes up an architectural element with which to explore meanings central to both literature and architecture.
Stairs function as vertical access but in Kafka’s hands become an instrument of science, testing the merit of natural selection. Kafka’s doors open and close less to allow passage than to reconcile one psychological interior with the next. Notions of plumbing and hygiene begin to acquire new meaning.
The architecture of Mies van der Rohe begins to make more sense, especially his tabula rasa approach to design, signifying less a harsh disdain for site and more a response to a reality in which the ceremony of the stairs had died and was replaced by the pervasive flatness of the modern floor.

About the Author(s)

Ayad B. Rahmani is a professor of architecture at Washington State University. He has written widely on the subjects of art, architecture and urban design. He lives in Pullman, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Ayad B. Rahmani
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: 56 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7653-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1778-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface 1

Introduction 3

1. Windows 15

2. Restless Doors 41

3. Up and Down Stairs 70

4. Rooms and the Question of Return 103

5. The Home as an Agent of Shock 139

6. In the Belly of the Ship: A Demonstration of Machine Power and Labor Relations 168

7. The Radicalization of Perspective: “In the Penal Colony” 180

8. By Way of a Conclusion 203

Chapter Notes 215

Bibliography 225

Index 231