Willumsen, Noah () Reading Kafka: Or, If You Find the Odradek, Kill It. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished). Some say the word odradek comes from the Slavonic and look for the word’s derivation If Kafka had been a revolutionary, he would have made suppositories. “The Cares of a Family Man” by Franz Kafka is all about Odradek (a pool of thread), an inanimate object that has taken on a personality of its.

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The narrative then begins to seem intentional; there is a strategy in its sensible, descriptive gesture.

The Cares of a Family Man – Wikipedia

The anonymity of the voice is false. Recovered Memories and False Memories. Franz Kafka Some say the word Odradek is of Slavonic origin, and try to account for it on that basis. Why describe a living being as inert? That is why Odradek is something a family man has to care for.

I ask myself, to no purpose, what is likely to happen to him? The social place of a reconciled life on the bourgeois map cannot be named; but it is trash. Anything that dies has had some kind of aim in life, some kind of activity, which has worn out; but that does not apply to Odradek. While Rammelmeier argues against clean-cut metaphorical interpretations of the story, he acknowledges that Odradek possesses some supernatural qualities, such as disappearance and reappearance.

Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. It appears that there has been a displacement of the problem: The story deals with the narrators attempt to make sense of the only additional character, Odradek, and gives a detailed description of the creature in the second paragraph:. Odradek is made of leftovers, of disreputable materials without name or price, eliminated from social circulation.

The Odradek – The Museum of Imaginary Beings

The fact is mentioned as though it were one more piece of thread on the spool. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: The ovradek fears that this purposeless object will outlive him. At least, no evidence can be seen for it; one cannot find a mark of incompletion or rupture that would suggest anything like that.


This is how we are to understand the mixture of disdain and envy that Odradek awakes, and therefore the defamatory strategy of the narrator. The uncertainty of both interpretations allows one to assume with justice that neither is accurate, especially as neither of them provides an intelligent meaning of the word. But it is not only a spool, for a small wooden crossbar sticks out of the middle of the star, and another small rod is joined to that at a right angle.

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This implies that they are idiots, quite unlike the family man who makes the observation and triumphs in these first lines. Yet this does not seem to be the case; at least there is no sign of it; nowhere is there an unfinished or unbroken surface to suggest anything of the kind; the whole thing looks senseless enough, but in its own way perfectly finished. According to Goetschel, from a Freudian approach Odradek can be seen as “the psychological return of the repressed “.

At first glance it looks like a flat star-shaped spool for thread, and indeed it does seem to have thread wound upon it; to be sure, they are only old, broken-off bits of thread, knotted and tangled together, of the most varied orradek and colours.

The German and Slavonic camps argue over the word Odradek. The narrator hopes that by discovering the meaning of the name, they will be able to clarify its purpose and origin, yet conclude that none of these derivations, kzfka German nor Slavic, can kafoa a sensible meaning of the word.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress. The idea that Odradek will survive the narrator and the anguish this situation causes to him can also be interpreted as the idea of commodities being inherited and transcend the worker who made them, but in such a way that the worker himself would be completely ignored.


He adds that, due to the text’s stylistic dryness, a reader who reads the story through an ideological lens may find evidence for any interpretation kwfka may wish to hold. He does no harm to anyone that one can see; but the idea that he is likely to survive me I find almost painful.

Wilhelm Emrich was first among them. This is an opinion shared by Heinz Politzer when he states that Kafka’s absurdist writing emphasizes the meaninglessness of its subjects’ lives. I will focus on “Die Sorge des Hausvaters” as a case study, though I will also touch on Die Verwandlung”Von den Gleichnissen” and the aphorisms.

Willumsen, Noah Reading Kafka: Odradek represents commoditiesit is “what is left of life once everything is reduced to materialism”.

The Cares of a Family Man

He lurks by turns ocradek the garret, the stairway, the lobbies, the entrance hall. Suddenly, a detail which is not a detail: Odradek, as a construction, is the impossible of the bourgeois order. The Warden of the Tomb. Throughout the story, the narrator provides an extensive analysis of Odradek, attempting to emphasize how the object has taken on a life of its own, displaying life like qualities and kaka, as well as his silent relationship with the object.

Respectable in every regard, the family man is the unacknowledged partisan of destruction. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. According to this school of thought, what hurts is not being a family man, but being mortal. Kafka’s texts serve as markers of ecstatic transformation that Kafka sought in the possibilities of writing.