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German Literature


Wendy Sterba


In analyzing the short stories "Forschungen eines Hundes," "Ein Bericht fŸr eine Akademie," and "Die BrŸcke," I have found characters who function as creators of new locations -- bridging characters. These figures bridge the gap between extremes and, hence, exist in a state of "inbetweenness." Furthermore, these characters are paradigmatic of the human condition, which also seems to synthesize rebellious tendencies and desires. There appears to be two distinct extremes in Franz Kafka's short stories: the nature Pole and the intellectual pole. The bridge figures in the three stories, as well as other characters in Kafka's works, seem stretched between these extremities. This bridging location is a transitional state, suggests Kafka, which ought to be surpassed. Unfortunately, it seems as though Kafka cannot come to any positive conclusion on whether a person can move beyond his state of inbetweenness.