Kafka in Habsburg. Mythen und Effekte der Bürokratie

Administory. Journal for the History of Public Administration

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Title Kafka in Habsburg. Mythen und Effekte der Bürokratie
Creator Wolf, Burkhard; Universität München
Subject Geschichte; Verwaltung; Verwaltungsgeschichte; Literaturwissenschaften; Kulturwissenschaften;
Geschichte; Verwaltung; Verwaltungsgeschichte; History; Administration; History of Administration; Gouvernementalität; Politik; Regierung; Staat; Kafka; Habsburg; Literatur;
Description From the very beginning, Habsburgian literature was closely tied to the Empire’s “bureaucracy” – both to the administrative apparatus and to the class of officials who claimed this title as their own. The fact that numerous authors were recruited from this class may well have helped to create the “Habsburg myth”: the literary romanticisation of bureaucrats as loyal to the Emperor and as cultural pillars of a variegated empire that never accomplished to be a state in the modern sense. However, a real tie-up between the citizens and the bureaucracy, for which proof can be found still today and which is referred to as the “Habsburg effect”, is likely to have arisen due to the welfare state set up in the latter years of the Danube monarchy. Franz Kafka played a part in this. In addition to his articles and talks for the “Workmen’s Accident Insurance Bureau”, his literary texts also showed Kafka to be an analyst and reformer of both the old and new bureaucracy. Far from being mutually exclusive, his official duties and his writing constituted two aspects of one and the same enterprise: Kafka sought to free bureaucracy from the old Habsburg mythology; to repurpose it informally into an arbitrator in the class war and the conflict of nations; to give those it served a greater involvement in its workings; and to test the scope of a future bureaucracy that would be permanently reformed and ultimately indistinguishable from the social life. Kafka’s tales thus contain unique accounts of the Habsburg bureaucracy and of the myths and effects peculiar to it, for they keep the minutes of Habsburgian administration, while oscillating between the perspective of officialdom and that of an increasingly “colonised environment”.<h4>About the Author</h4>Burkhardt Wolf, born in 1969, worked as associate professor for literature and media studies at the Humboldt-Universität Berlin; momentarily, he is visiting professor at the University of Munich and Heisenberg scholar. His publications include the books Die Sorge des Souveräns. Eine Diskursgeschichte des Opfers (2004) and Fortuna di mare. Literatur und Seefahrt (2013, English translation in preparation). 
Publisher Institut für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung
Date 2016-09-26
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article

Format application/pdf
Identifier https://adhi.univie.ac.at/index.php/adhi/article/view/1662
Source Administory. Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsgeschichte; Bd. 1 (2016): Verwaltungsgeschichte im Dialog/Administrative History in Dialogue
ADMINISTORY. Journal for the History of Public Administration; Bd. 1 (2016): Verwaltungsgeschichte im Dialog/Administrative History in Dialogue
Language deu
Relation https://adhi.univie.ac.at/index.php/adhi/article/view/1662/pdf_9
Coverage Habsburgermonarchie
19. Jahrhundert

Rights Copyright (c) 2016 Burkhard Wolf

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