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PhD ceremony Ms. J.M.C. Boode: Turning the prism. Modernist approaches in the short stories of the Hungarian writer Margit Kaffka

When:Th 05-09-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. J.M.C. Boode, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Turning the prism. Modernist approaches in the short stories of the Hungarian writer Margit Kaffka

Promotor(s): prof. C.T. Hasselblatt

Faculty: Arts

In her thesis Hanneke Boode scrutinizes the short stories of the Hungarian writer Margit Kaffka (1880-1918). Kaffka is foremost known as the author of the novel Színek és évek (1912; Kleuren en jaren; Van Gennep 2010). Researching the short stories, which until now had been a neglected part of Kaffka’s prose, offers a valuable supplement to Kaffka’s recognized position as a modernist author in the Hungarian literary canon, maintains Boode. After a thorough investigation of the judgments of Kaffka’s modernist nature by her critics, Boode analyzes the short stories based on the theory of the unreliable narrator. Various techniques are deduced concerning the ways the narrator perceives information and relays it to the readers. In the final part of this dissertation, Boode positions Kaffka in an international modernist framework. Not only is Kaffka hardly known outside Hungary, but her works have not been subjected to elaborate comparative literature research. Boode researches the use of the child’s perspective and the representation of ‘queer’ characters in the works of three authors: Margit Kaffka, Katherine Mansfield and Carry van Bruggen. These new perspectives on Kaffka’s oeuvre are not only relevant for the position of Kaffka within the modernist literary canon, but also for modernist literary studies in Hungary.

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