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  1. "Brücke dreht sich um!" : a deconstructionist reading of Kafka's "Die Brücke"
    Autor*in: Hoffmann, Eva

    Franz Kafka's (1883-1924) "Die Brücke" is one of the less well-known texts by one of the most prolific authors of literary modernity. However, this short prose text embodies prevalent questions of literary modernity and philosophy as it reflects the... mehr

     

    Franz Kafka's (1883-1924) "Die Brücke" is one of the less well-known texts by one of the most prolific authors of literary modernity. However, this short prose text embodies prevalent questions of literary modernity and philosophy as it reflects the crisis of language in regard of identity, communication, and literary production. Placed in the context of fin-de-siècle's discourse of language crisis, this article provides a dialogue between Kafka's "Die Brücke" and Hannah Arendt's (1906-1975) philosophy of thinking and speaking in "The Life of the Mind". Contrary to Arendt's understanding of the metaphor as "a carrying over" between the mental activities of the solitude thinker and a reconciliation with the pluralistic world shared with others, this article argues for a deconstructionist reading of "Die Brücke" as a tool to reevaluate Arendt"s notion of a shared human experience ensured through language and illustrates the advantages of poetic texts within philosophical discourses. "Die Brücke" von Franz Kafka (1883-1934) ist einer der weniger beachteten poetischen Texte des Autors. Dieser Artikel argumentiert für die Relevanz dieses Prosastückes innerhalb des Diskurses der literarischen Moderne und der Philosophie hinsichtlich von Fragen nach Identitäts- und Sprachkrise und der Möglichkeit von literarischer Produktion. Indem ein Dialog zwischen Kafkas poetischem Text und Hannah Arendts (1906-1975) Philosophie des Denkens und des Sprechens in "The Life of the Mind" hergestellt wird, zeigt dieser Artikel wie Kafkas "Brücke" Arendts Verständnis einer Verbindung zwischen der geistigen Welt und der Welt als pluralistischen Ort, den wir mit anderen Menschen teilen, dekonstuiert und folglich auch die Annahme menschlicher Grunderfahrungen und ihrer Mitteilbarkeit in Frage stellt. Damit thematisiert dieser Artikel auch die Vorteile poetischer Texte innerhalb des philosophischen Diskurses.

     

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    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literaturen germanischer Sprachen; Deutsche Literatur (830)
    Schlagworte: Kafka, Franz; Die Brücke; Arendt, Hannah; Derrida, Jacques; Sprache; Metapher
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  2. "Hamlet ist auch Saturnkind" : Citationality, Lutheranism, and German Identity in Benjamin’s 'Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels'
    Erschienen: 11.11.2016

    In a letter to Scholem, dated 22 December, 1924, Benjamin famously writes of the manuscript that was to become his 'Trauerspiel' book: "[I]ndessen überrascht mich nun vor allem, daß, wenn man so will, das Geschriebene fast ganz aus Zitaten besteht"... mehr

     

    In a letter to Scholem, dated 22 December, 1924, Benjamin famously writes of the manuscript that was to become his 'Trauerspiel' book: "[I]ndessen überrascht mich nun vor allem, daß, wenn man so will, das Geschriebene fast ganz aus Zitaten besteht" (GS I.3, 881). Much has been made of the mosaic-like citational technique to which Benjamin refers here; his "Zitatbegriff" is said, for example, to subtend the theory of a "mikrologische Verarbeitung" of "Denkbruchstücken" into "Ideen" that Benjamin develops as his theory of representation in the "Erkenntniskritische Vorrede", which in turn figures the relation between individual phenomena and their "ideas" in astral terms. Because, however, the 'Trauerspiel' book is so often understood only on this theoretical level, e.g. as either an early articulation of Benjamin’s "avant garde" and "messianic" philosophy of history (Jäger, Kany, and Pizer) or as a performance of his systems of allegory (Menninghaus) and "constructivism" (Schöttker), his "Zitierpraxis" and the actual citations that form large parts of 'Der Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiel' have seldom been read for the purchase they provide on the vexed status of the period and concept that was the book’s direct subject, namely, the German Baroque.

     

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    Sprache: Englisch
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    ISBN: 978-3-7705-4637-4
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte, Darstellung, Literaturwissenschaft und –kritik (809)
    Sammlung: Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung
    Schlagworte: Benjamin, Walter; Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels
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  3. "I Am a Hottentot" : africanist mimicry and green xenophilia in Hans Paasche and Karen Blixen
    Erschienen: 12.06.2017

    Claims that industrialized western countries must reform their environmental practices have often been made with reference to less-developed non-western societies living in greater "harmony" or "balance" with the natural world. Examples of what I... mehr

     

    Claims that industrialized western countries must reform their environmental practices have often been made with reference to less-developed non-western societies living in greater "harmony" or "balance" with the natural world. Examples of what I call green xenophilia (from the Greek "xenos", meaning strange, unknown or foreign, and "philia", meaning love or attraction), are myriad, wide-ranging and culturally dispersed. They range from the appearance of the iconic "crying Indian" in anti-pollution TV and newspaper spots in the months leading up to the first Earth Day on April 22 1970 to numerous environmentalist individuals' and groups' use of the fabricated "Chief Seattle's Speech" as an authoritative touchstone of ecological consciousness, and from the British Schumacher College's endorsement of India as a source of simplicity, holism, humility, vegetarianism etc. to leading deep ecologists' advocacy of East Asian religions (especially Buddhism, Jainism and Taoism) as "biocentric" alternatives to "anthropocentric" Christianity (Rolston 1987; Dunaway 2008; Krupat 2011; Corrywright 2010). Invocations of non-western cultures, identities and worldviews have proved potent heuristic devices, enabling greens both to critique the status quo and to gesture (however schematically) towards the possibility of alternatives. Pervasive media-borne ideas and images like "the Green Tibet" (Huber 1997) and "the ecological Indian" (Krech 1999) have given environmentalist ideas about the good life physical incarnation, making them seem less remote and abstract. Yet the prevalence of xenophile dis course has also made environmentalism vulnerable to recurrent accusations of romantic primitivism, orientalism and exoticism, as western greens have sometimes (though not always) appeared to buttress traditional socio-cultural norms in the very act of challenging them (Guha 1989; Lohmann 1993; Bartholomeusz 1998). What is gained and what is risked when western greens speak about, with, for or as "the other"? In this essay I engage with two early-twentieth-century North European writers, the German Hans Paasche (1881-1921) and the Dane Karen Blixen (1885-1962), whose works bring this question to the forefront. Critical of European industrialization, and awkwardly positioned vis-a-vis their upper-class social milieus, Paasche and Blixen wrote as self-made "Africans", testing the limits between colonialism, anti-colonialism and emergent forms of environmentalism and green" lifestyle reform. More precisely, Paasche in "Die Forschungsreise des Afrikaners Lukanga Kukara ins Innerste Deutschland" ("The African Lukanga Mukara's Research Joumey into the Innermost of Germany" (1912-1913) and Blixen in "Out of Africa" (1937) deploy the ambiguous form of mimicry that Susan Gubar labels "racechange", impersonating or appropriating culturally other voices and perspectives on animals, food, physical embodiment and human-natural relations (Gubar 1997). Paasche and Blixen, I argue, used their considerable intercultural insight to construct images of Africa that they hoped would stand in redemptive contrast to the humanly and environmentally ruinous beliefs and practices of European modernity. I am interested in the acts of ethnic and textual self-alienation that these writers perform because they highlight the discursive, ethical and political ambiguities of green xenophilia - ambiguities that can be explored from different positions within the developing field of ecocritical studies.

     

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    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte Afrikas (960)
    Sammlung: Synchron. Wissenschaftsverlag der Autoren
    Schlagworte: Paasche, Hans; Die Forschungsreise des Afrikaners Lukanga Mukara ins innerste Deutschland; Blixen, Tania; Out of Africa; Afrikabild; Xenophilie; Ecocriticism; Kolonialismus <Motiv>
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  4. "I was hemmed in by people not in my city" : power, space and identity in China Miéville's "The City and the City"
    Autor*in: Loth, Miriam

    From New Corbuzon to UnLondon, China Miéville's works show a preoccupation with the city which transcends the function of setting and serves as a subtext to the plot. As one of the most prominent representatives of weird fiction Miéville constructs... mehr

     

    From New Corbuzon to UnLondon, China Miéville's works show a preoccupation with the city which transcends the function of setting and serves as a subtext to the plot. As one of the most prominent representatives of weird fiction Miéville constructs cityscapes that fascinate the reader with their eccentricity and strangeness, but also with their social, historical and architectural complexity. In "Perdido Street Station" the eponymous landmark in New Corbuzon is essential for the denouement of the plot rather than merely a backdrop. The city is a character in its own right. This is also and especially true for Miéville's 2009 novel "The City and the City". Here, the city seems at first normal, then alien and in conclusion utterly quotidian. The way the literary space and place is built permeates everything in the novel: the way the characters act, the crime plot, the philosophy and mood. At the core, "The City and the City" captures the everyday creation and maintenance of social space and illustrates the human capacity to deal with conflicting, layered realities of communal life and the human condition.

    The "City and the City" is set in the twin city states of Besźel and Ul Qoma that occupy much of the same geographical space, but are perceived as two very different cities. The borders between the cities are invisible and intangible, but reinforced by citizens by "unseeing" and "unsensing" the other one. Meaning: someone in Besźel must ignore everything Ul Qoman even what is right next to them. Some parts of the cityscape are totally in one city but quite a few are "cross-hatched", meaning in either city depending on what is unseen. Unsight is an acquired habit, but one that is performed unconsciously. To unsee the other city is an integral part of being a citizen and important in the socialiation of children. Acknowledging the other city even accidentally is a serious crime called breaching punished by an all-seeing, all-powerful agency named Breach. Why and how the state of separation between the cities came to pass is unknown: an event ambiguously called "cleavage" split or united the cities.

    "The City and the City" won several awards for fantasy writing, although it is fantastic only in one aspect and – plotwise – the novel is crime fiction: a police procedural with noir and hard-boiled touches – genres that lay claim on gritty realism. It is precisely this uncertainty of genre that allows a subversive reading of the text and contributes to the social criticism therein. In the novel Inspector Tyador Borlú from Besźel investigates the murder of foreign student Mahalia Greary across the cities and uncovers a conspiracy to exploit the cities' cultural heritage for profit.

     

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    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Schlagworte: Stadt <Motiv>; Miéville, China
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  5. "Schmerz war ein Staudamm" : Benjamin on pain
    Autor*in: Ferber, Ilit
    Erschienen: 22.06.2017

    To explicate what distinguishes pain, Benjamin elaborates: "Of all corporeal feelings, pain alone is like a navigable river which never dries up and which leads man down to the sea. [...] Pain [...] is a link between worlds. This is why organic... mehr

     

    To explicate what distinguishes pain, Benjamin elaborates: "Of all corporeal feelings, pain alone is like a navigable river which never dries up and which leads man down to the sea. [...] Pain [...] is a link between worlds. This is why organic pleasure is intermittent, whereas pain can be permanent. This comparison of pleasure and pain explains why the cause of pain is irrelevant for the understanding of man's nature, whereas the source of his greatest pleasure is extremely important. For every pain, even the most trivial one, can lead upward to the highest religious suffering, whereas pleasure is not capable of any enhancement, and owes any nobility it possesses to the grace of its birth - that is to say, its source. (SW I, 397)" In these important lines, pain's unique strength is linked not to its origin (this is reserved for pleasure), but rather to the way that its strenuous flow throughout the suffering body has the power to lead it to infinite heights. In contrast to pleasure, which is forever seeking out its sources, pain manifests itself most consummately when it is intensified; it fulfills itself most deeply by gradually reenforcing its own fortitude. To make sense of pain, therefore, we must understand the nature of its 'movement': and in Benjamin's metaphor of the "navigable river" - its flow. In what follows, I develop Benjamin's idea of the nature of pain as manifested in the internal law of its ,ow in two other of Benjamin's texts: 'Berlin Childhood Around 1900' (1934) and 'Thought Figures' (1933).

     

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    ISBN: 978-3-7705-5782-0
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung
    Schlagworte: Benjamin, Walter; Schmerz <Motiv>; Berliner Kindheit um neunzehnhundert
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