Kafka’s Before the Law as a Cross-Road of Literature, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Theology

Erkan Zengin


Kafka has been discussed at length both in literature theory and in philosophy. This study analyses Kafka’s short but enigmatic text Before the Law this text both as an independent narrative and as a part of Kafka’s novel The Trial, and tries to determine the difference between the two ‘versions’. This analysis is based on the assumption that Josef K., the protagonist of The Trial, represents modern man, who is guilty indeed, instead of interpreting him as a victim of some kind of oppressive system. Therefore, this study focusses on the specific qualities of the spacing before the Law, with all its artistic, philosophical and theological peculiarities, and intends to demonstrate that the space before the law constitutes a crossroad of Literature (art), Philosophy, Psychoanalysis, and Theology within the context of law and justice.


Kafka, Before The Law, The Trail, Derrida, Moses Maimonides, Law, Justice

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