Adorno and repudiation
Theodor Adorno, for instance, argues that Kafka's parables signify not "through expression but its repudiation";
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," Benjamin suggest that most of the great works of art do so.) Such a statement of course cannot mean that Kafka's parables lay special claim to completeness but rather that they initiate the process of violent transformation, which brackets the norms of the common language and questions the mastery of the native speakers.
Boredom is the threshold to great deeds
We are bored when we don't know what we are waiting for. That we do know, or think we know, is nearly always the expression of our superficiality or inattention. Boredom is the threshold to great deeds--Now, it would be important to know: What is the dialectical antithesis to boredom?
Collectors are beings with tactile instincts
Possession and having are allied with the tactile, and stand in a certain opposition to the optical. Collectors are beings with tactile instincts. Moreover, with the recent turn away from naturalism, the primacy of the optical that was determinate for the previous century has come to an end. Flaneur. The flaneur optical, the collector tactile.
Nietzsche, Language, metaphoricity
By accepting the necessity of language's "truthlessness," Nietzsche argues, one can transform deception into artistic creation: Langauge, in its inherent metaphoricity, infuses life with the aesthetic spirit, establishing poetic license, not truth or validity, as the ruling principle of existence.
Kafka's word presents a sickness of tradition.
An emptiness of tradition. Also, the "word" here is singular - like the biblical Word (LOGOS), or like a signifier.
The Starting Point
This must be my starting point, that the Parables--and Benjamin--participate in some sort of "pre-diffferance," where instead of constant deferrment, we get a stop, a singularity, a standstill, in the face of the lack of truth/signified.
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.
Wisdom connects language to meaning?
"Decay" - useful in this context: the presence of what is no longer present. Yet in this case, there never was anything. Only the hope that there would be.
he sacrificed truth for the sake of clinging to its transmissibility
Kafka's real genius was that he tried something entirely new: he sacrificed truth for the sake of clinging to its transmissibility, its haggadic element. Kafka's writings are by their nature parables. But it is their misery and their beauty that they had to become more than parables. They do not modestly lie at the feet of the doctrine, as the Haggadah lies at the feet of the Halakah. Though apparently reduced to submission, they unexpectedly raise a mighty paw against it.
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, architectural construction, system and architectonics. What the multiplicity of idioms actually limits is not only a "true" translation, a transparent and adequate interexpression, it ais also a structural order, a coherence of construct. There is then (let us translate) something like an internal limit to formalization, an incompleteness of the structure.
the materials used in building a house
The fragments of the Passagen-Werk can be compared to the materials used in building a house, the outside of which has just been marked in the ground or whose foundations are just being dug. ... Next to the foundations we find the neatly ;iled excerpts, which would have been used to construct the walls; Benjamin's own thoughts would have provided the mortar to hold the building together.
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 destroy the metaphysical concept of truth separate from the mechanism of signification.
translation exists in a more "exalted' state
Thus, the property that is most blatant in a translation, the slippage between symbol and symbolized, revels something about the original. It is for this reason that Benjamin claims that the translation exists in a more "exalted' state than the original. History unfolds in a linguistic realm of contiguous fragments.
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 this failure of the transcendental purpose is not an impasse but a liberating force in Kafka's prose...