Ziarek, Ewa. "The Beauty of Failure"

Ziarek, Ewa. "The Beauty of Failure: Kafka and Benjamin on the Task of Transmission and Translation." Unruly Examples: On the Rhetoric of Exemplarity. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1995.






Related Fragments:
Kafka’s strategic use of failure
I would like to suggest that Kafka’s strategic use of failure as a response to the traditional tasks of the parable is intertwined with a critique of the often opposite tendencies of modern aesthetics: the autonomy of the work of...
the binary structures in which the particular discloses or illustrates the truth.
Parables, like other exemplary forms of literature, are not intended to speak of and for themselves but are implicitly or explicitly organized around the binary structures in which the particular discloses or illustrates the truth. [Ziarek 176]...
Adorno and repudiation
Theodor Adorno, for instance, argues that Kafka’s parables signify not “through expression but its repudiation”; [Ziarek 177]...
the deficiency of Kafka’s parables explicity as their failure to transmit truth
This time Benjamin sees the deficiency of Kafka’s parables explicity as their failure to transmit truth and argues that in order to “do justice to the figure of Kafka,” it is essential to confront the significance of this failure with...
the metaphysical concept of truth separate from the mechanism of signification
Reading “failure” in Kafka’s parables in a way directly opposite to Politzer (and to the majority of Kafka criticism) Benjamin argues that Kafka’s focus on the circulation of linguistic transport of meaning eventually aims to de...
a sense of responsibility and a sense of relie
Instead of truth, reading offers both a sense of responsibility and a sense of relief—reflief that comes, paradoxically, from a loss of a “preordained object.” [Ziarek 180-181]...
Benjamin’s theory of translation
Benjamin’s theory of translation not only illuminates but perhaps is in turn informed by Kafka’s parables. Can we say that Kafka’s works already include their own intralinear translation? (In his “The Task of the Translator,R...
the impossibility of finishing
The “tower of Babel” does not merely figure the irreducible multiplicity of tongues; it exhibits an incompletion, the impossibility of finishing, of totalizing, of saturating, of completing something on the order of edification, architectur...
whether it is possible to build, write, interpret
This paralysis thematized in Kafka’s text raises again a question whether it is possible to build, write, interpret when we already know “that the incomprehensible is incomprehensible” (PP, 11). Walter Benjamin argues, however, that t...
The concept of truth distinct and separate from the process of signification
Consequently, in Politzer's reading, skepticism about ordinary language remains in complicity with the affirmation of truth "inaccessible to ordinary verbalization." With the emphasis on the inaccessible transcendental or on the emptiness of traditiona...
The exemplary function of the traditional parable
What is at stake in this terminological discussion is the exemplary function of the traditional parable and its transcendental-theological weight. [Ziarek 175]...
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