'Did a Beetle Dream He was Kafka? An Ecopsychoanalytic Approach to Animality and (In)humanity in Kafka's World'
Dr Joseph Dodds, PhD
This paper will explore Kafka's use of animality from an ecopsychoanalytic perspective (Dodds 2011), combining, psychoanalytic, philosophical, eco(psycho)logical and Deleuze-Guattarian modes of thought. What is an animal? The answer needs to be explored in each of the three ecologies, natural, social and psychological. The animal has long been a symbol of human psyche and culture. Kafka's use of the animal throughout his life and work is fascinating and intense, whether the becoming-beetle of Gregor Samsa in The Metamorphosis, the paranoid mole in The Burrow, the mice he feared were scratching under his bed, discourses of the Jew as rat in anti-semitism. These animals can be placed within Guattari’s ‘three ecologies’ of mind, society, and nature, seen as in constant, complex nonlinear interaction with one another. Through Kafka, answering the question, 'what is an animal?', we also come to know ourselves better, as the human-animals that therefore we are (Derrida 2007.)