@ a Standstill

An image that emerges suddenly, in a flash

The dialectical image is an image that emerges suddenly, in a flash. What has been is to be held fast--as an image flashing up in the now of its recongnizability. The rescue that is carried out by these means--and only by these--can operate solely for the sake of what in the next moment is already irretrievably lost. In this connection, see the metaphorical passage from my introduction to Jochmann, concerning the prophetic gaze that catches fire from the summits of the past.

[Arcades Project 473]



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Dialectics and Narrativity

I associate the "progression" the Benjamin rejects in favor of the image/D@aS with traditional "narrative." But this is messy. Perhaps I only intend it to be an "allegorical association."

"What has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a contellation" - These do not "map" so nicely. But the central idea, the "flash" of a frozen image that would otherwise (but is never) be in movement - the standstill. The interpretive concept of N@aS is itself a gesture.

[image is dialectics at a standstill]



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The Flash of the Image

The tension between movement and stillness in the D@aS and N@aS. Should the same dialectical process (and Image - resolution) be applied to this tension?

Also: Image vs. Parable. Is a parable just an mc-escher photo paradox? Bad line of thought, not useful.

The ephermeral nature of the image, it passes, it is immediately lost. This doesn't apply to N@aS. But it could - associate it with the "passing" interpretations.

....

...As for the method of that association, I need to finish thinking through the Allegorist and the Collector.

[An image that emerges suddenly, in a flash]



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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 traditional exemplary forms, this strain of Kafka criticism in fact perpetuates both the notion of linguistic skepticism and the concept of truth distinct and separate from the process of signification.

[Ziarek 178]



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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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The law of his journey

Kafka, however, has found in the law of his journey--at least on one occasion he succeeded in bringing its breath-taking speed in line with the slow narrative pace that he presumably sought all his life. He expressed this in a little prose piece which is his most perfect creation not only because it is an interpretation.
The Truth About Sancho Panza

[Illuminations 139]



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image is dialectics at a standstill

It's not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present its light on what is past- rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation. In other words, image is dialectics at a standstill. For while the relation of the present to the past is a purely temporal, continuous one, the relation of what-has-been to the now is dialectical: is not progression but image, suddenly emergent. Only dialectical images are genuine images (that is, not archaic); and the place where one encounters them is language.

[Arcades Project 462]



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