Ph.D. Comparative Literature, U.C. Berkeley
On Dec. 13, 2012, David Suchoff will be giving a keynote lecture on Kafka entitled "Irreducible Pluralities" at the International Conference on "Kafka and the Paradox of the Universal" at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, Dec. 12-14 2012.
Review of David Suchoff, Kafka's Jewish Languages
Suchoff, David. Kafka's Jewish languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition. Pennsylvania, 2012. 266p index afp; ISBN 9780812243710, $65.00. Reviewed in 2012jul CHOICE.
Many literary critics have alluded to Kafka's Jewish roots and the influence of Hebrew and Yiddish in his writings. Suchoff (English, Colby College) here offers readers the last word on the subject. Focusing on the short story "The Judgment" and three novels--America, The Trial, and The Castle--the author provides a meticulous analysis of the linguistic and cultural sources that the "Jewish" languages gave Kafka. This study is a tightly knit exposition of previous research and a presentation of the author's own close literary analysis. Suchoff gives all citations in English with immediate translations into German. He also places Kafka within the cultural world of Yiddishkeit in Central Europe. The conclusion is clear: Kafka wrote in German and lived in Czech Prague but was never far removed from his Jewishness. This challenging study convincingly amplifies the linguistic origins of Kafka's genius. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. -- S. Gittleman, Tufts University.
David Suchoff received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from U.C. Berkeley, and is Professor of English at Colby College. He is author of Critical Theory and the Novel: Mass Society and Cultural Criticism in Dickens, Melville and Kafka
(University of Wisconsin Press, 1994), editor, with Mary Rhiel, of The Seductions of Biography
(Routledge, 1995), and has published on theory, as well as American, British, Israeli, and Yiddish literature. He is a translator of and author of the Introductions to Alain Finkielkraut's The Imaginary Jew
(1994) and The Wisdom of Love
(1995); his translation of and Introduction, with Willi Goetschel, to Hermann Levin Goldschmidt?s The Legacy of German Jewry
was published by the Fordham University Press in 2007. His book Kafka's Jewish Languages: The Hidden Openness of Tradition
appeared with the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012.