I have found it useful to examine Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain as a naturalistic novel, based on the isolated community of the Berghof and of Davos. Likewise, we may explore Kafka's The Castle through its isolated village, but instead of naturalism I would propose another word, transnaturalism, to denote the metaphysically oriented focus of Kafka's laboratory. Transnaturalism seems to me for this study a more precise word than expressionism to apply to Kafka's fiction simply because it offers a sense of polarity or a clear complement to the term naturalism. Obviously, however, expressionism and transnaturalism share much in common, and one would be hard put to make an airtight distinction-as one is in differentiating between most of the umbrella words used in literary criticism.

My purpose in this study is to show how two writers of fiction exploit in different ways isolation as a means to social analysis.



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