Die Kunst der Behauptung
How do we stand up to life? For Kafka “a useful and sound man’s lust for life”, independence and success must eventually provoke injustice and cruelty. Therefore, he is striving to reconcile economic and moral action during all his life-time. He longs to righteously become independent and successful.This study collects the traces that Kafka’s inquiry into the problems of independence left in his writings and shows that his attempts to balance economic and moral action were at last fruitful. Scrutinizing the evolution of the merchant figure as a role model of an independent and successful man in his early texts as well as the emergence of an open, circle-like manner of writing in his second creative period it renders Kafka’s late texts as both, mirrors of their proper artist protagonists and morally improved revenants of his early merchant figures. Finally, it sheds light on the distinct sense of irony informing Kafka’s texts.