Clayton Koelb

Clayton Koelb

Guy B. Johnson Distinguished Professor of German; Professor of English and Comparative Literature

Clayton Koelb's research focuses on the construction of literary worlds and has thus examined such matters as tragedy, theories of genre, literary criticism as well as rhetoric and narrative. One cornerstone of his work are twentieth-century modernists Franz Kafka and Thomas Man and, in particular, the tension between fantasy and reality in their works. Another is  Nietzsche and the centrality of rhetoric in his philosophy. Whereas his Kafka: A Guide for the Perplexed (Continuum, 2010) introduces the author's life and work to general readers, his The Revivifying Word (Camden House, 2008) queries European Romantic literature's fascination with scenes in which reading and legibility are literally matters of life and death.

  • Ph.D., Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Office Location: 
Dey Hall 443

Home Institution: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

  • Modernism
  • Realism
  • Aesthetics
  • Literary and Critical Theory, Philosophy and Literature