Podcast for Social Research, Episode 58: The Kafka Diaries
In episode 58 of the Podcast for Social Research, award-winning translator Ross Benjamin sits down with BISR’s Christine Smallwood, Rebecca Ariel Porte, Ajay Singh Chaudhary, and Lauren K. Wolfe to discuss—on the occasion of his new translation of the fully reconstructed, uncensored diaries—Kafka’s long, often fraught, sometimes tendentious publication and reception history. Loosely organized along three axes—Kafka and literature, Kafka and translation, Kafka and theory—their talk touches on Kafka’s creatures, proliferating anxiety, his vexed relationship with tradition (and how to carve out a space for protest), the fantasy of a translator’s omniscience (and disabusing oneself of the same), Benjamin’s “Task of the Translator,” Kafka as prodigious impetus to theoretical innovation, the call center as the surreal bureaucracy of our own century, and much else besides.
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The Podcast for Social Research is produced by William R. Clark. If you like what you’ve heard, consider subscribing to Brooklyn Institute’s Patreon page, where you can enjoy access to all past and future episodes of the podcast.