Indian, Chinese, Arab: Franz Kafka’s cultural travesty as a performance of self-othering
Franz Kafka’s writing proves to be a performance of estrangement which breaks strikingly the notion of stable, constant and solid identities and subjects. Particularly the texts which stage images from remote geographic-cultural spaces can be read as varieties of cultural travesty. In shaping the masquerades of Indian, Chinese, Arab etc., the author articulateshis own anxiety facing the contemporary tendency of othering Jews by the main-streaming in the falling Austrian-Hungary monarchy. Thus we may find a double displacement in Kafka’s narratives of foreign selves: the oriental Others defined by Europeans are now transferredto signify the crisis experience of European Jews. At the same time the connection of the Other and self sheds a light onto the power structure reproducing such demarcation.