A Psychoanalytical Reading of Jordi Sierra i Fabra’s Kafka and the Traveling Doll

Melat Babir Ali, Mehdi Pashapour


Drawing principally on Freudian classical psychoanalysis and Nathaniel Branden’s concept of self-esteem along with Susan Forward’s notion of toxic parents and Barbara De Angelis’s idea of emotional programming, this paper aims to cast light on Jordi Sierra i Fabra’s Kafka and the Traveling Doll (2006). According to Freud, the psyche consists of three parts the Id, Ego, and the Superego, and core issues define our being fundamental. In addition, this article uses modern psychoanalysis to examine characters’ behavior, especially Kafka. It will reveal that Kafka suffers from low self-esteem, which influences his behavior throughout the novel. It will also suggest that Kafka’s traumatic experiences in childhood psychologically incapacitate him. In addition, the article highlights and discusses several passages from the novel according to psychoanalytic theories, focusing on Kafka, Dora, Elsi, and the doll.



Kafka and the Traveling Doll; Classic psychoanalysis; Modern psychoanalysis; Core issues; Self-Esteem; Toxic parents; Emotional programming

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De Angelis, B. (1992). Are you the one for me? : Knowing who’s right and avoiding who’s wrong. A Dell Trade Paperback.

Forward, S. (2002). Toxic parents: Overcoming their hurtful legacy and reclaiming your life. Bantam Books.

Freud, S. (1964). An outline of psycho-analysis. The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud (pp.139-208). Moses and Monotheism.

i Fabra, J. S. (2019). Kafka and the traveling doll (J. Minett, Tran.). Independently published.

Nathaniel, B. (1995). The six pillars of self-esteem. Bantam.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/12596


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