International Studies in Phenomenology and Philosophy

Journal | Issue | Article

Visibilité et témoignage dans le récit "La Métamorphose" de Franz Kafka

Arthur Cools

pp. 357-382

In this article, I examine whether the concept of testimony can be used in order to clarify the epistemological value of literary fiction. It seems that it cannot: a testimony can be wrong while it makes no sense to say that a literary fiction can be wrong. However, in the wake of a hermeneutic philosophy, the fictional story has often been qualified as a testimony of an experience, even in cases which are not merely autobiographical. I try to unravel this paradoxical connection between literary fiction and testimony. Starting from an examination of Kafka’s short story “Metamorphosis”, I intend to articulate the distinction between literary fiction and testimony, on the one hand and on the other, to understand the importance of the perspective of the witness in literary fiction. The main argument for both statements is given by an analysis of the visibility in literary fiction.

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