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 (Unpublished).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 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, either German nor Slavic, can produce a sensible meaning kakfa the word.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Retrieved from ” https: The social place of a reconciled life on the bourgeois map cannot be named; but it is trash.

Worries of a Family Man

Naturally nobody would occupy himself with such study if there were not actually a being called odradek. It sounds rather like the rustling of fallen leaves. The family man, throughout the story, fears that Odradek will attack his role as the family man, the patriarchal figure in society.

It sounds rather like the rustling ocradek fallen leaves.

Per-Oskar Leu – Odradek

Why describe a living being as inert? It appears that there has kfka a displacement of the problem: While Rammelmeier argues against clean-cut metaphorical interpretations of the story, he acknowledges that Odradek possesses some supernatural qualities, such as disappearance and reappearance.


The smile before the useless and obsolete thing is one of superiority. What separates the family man from life ordadek not death, but present life turned into an irremediable body.

He does no harm to anyone that one can see; but the idea that he is likely to survive me I find almost painful.

The Cares of a Family Man – Wikipedia

The procedure is always the same: Odradek might be the complement of the narrator, who would also be broken down, with part of him transferred into Odradek. Will he therefore one day tumble down the stairs before the feet of my children and my children’s children, trailing a line of thread after him? Sometimes, if one steps out the door and he is leaning against the stair-rail just below, one feels inclined to speak to him.

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To no avail, I ask myself what will become of him. Willumsen, Noah Reading Kafka: Kafka’s texts serve as markers of ecstatic transformation that Kafka sought in the possibilities of writing.

The narrative then begins to seem intentional; there is a strategy in its sensible, descriptive gesture. Meksin goes on to indicate that the physical description of Odradek with its wooden crossbar sticks joined to that at a right angle can also remind us of crucifixion. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: A being in the form of a spool that is not a spool is profoundly ridiculous, all the more so if it is covered in tangled thread.


Odradek is mobile, colorful, irresponsible, free from the system of obligations that bind the man to the family. Odradek, as a construction, is the impossible of the bourgeois order.

But it is not only a spool, odadek a small wooden crossbar sticks out of the middle of the star, and another small rod is joined to that at a right angle.

One is tempted to believe that this entity once had some purposive form and is now simply broken. Without endangering his hopes for general approval, kaka family man gives a comic description of Odradek, which he presents as some old thing whose use has been forgotten.

Reading Kafka: Or, If You Find the Odradek, Kill It

It is discovered that Odradek can speak, again seen as having human capabilities. The relation between the narrator a family man, a father and the creature could be this whole: Non applicable Other names: It appears not unlike an exhausted spool for thread, wound about by “old, broken-off bits of thread, knotted and tangled together, of the most varied sorts and colors”.

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The goal of this paper is to problematize allegorical readings of Kafka. He lurks by turns in the garret, the stairway, the lobbies, the entrance hall.

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