Irony’s antics: Walser, Kafka, Roth, and the German comic tradition

Research output: Book/ReportBook

7 Scopus citations


Irony’s Antics marks a major intervention into the underexplored role of the comic and its relationship to irony in German letters. Combining theoretical breadth with close textual analysis, Erica Weitzman shows how irony, a key term for the German romantics, reemerged in the early twentieth century from a postromantic relegation to the nonsensical and the nihilistic in a way that both rethought romantic irony and dramatically extended its reach. Through readings of works by Robert Walser, Franz Kafka, and Joseph Roth against the rich history of comic theory (particularly Hegel and Freud), Weitzman traces the development of a specifically comic irony in modern German-language literature and philosophy, a play with the irony that is itself the condition for all play. She thus provides a crucial reevaluation of German literary history and offers new insights into the significance of irony and the comic from the Enlightenment to the present day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherNorthwestern University Press
Number of pages257
ISBN (Electronic)9780810133600
ISBN (Print)9780810133601
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Irony’s antics: Walser, Kafka, Roth, and the German comic tradition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this