A Weak Messianic Power: Figures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan
By: Michael G. Levine (author)Paperback
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In his famous theses on the philosophy of history, Benjamin writes: "We have been endowed with a weak messianic power to which the past has a claim." This claim addresses us not just from the past but from what will have belonged to it only as a missed possibility and unrealized potential. For Benajmin, as for Celan and Derrida, what has never been actualized remains with us, not as a lingering echo but as a secretly insistent appeal. Because such appeals do not pass through normal channels of communication, they require a special attunement, perhaps even a mode of unconscious receptivity. Levine examines the ways in which this attunement is cultivated in Benjamin's philosophical, autobiographical, and photohistorical writings; Celan's poetry and poetological addresses; and Derrida's writings on Celan.
Michael Levine is Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University. He is the author of Belated Witness: Literature, Testimony, and the Question of Holocaust Survival.
List of Figures Acknowledgments 1. A Time to Come: Hunchbacked Theology, Post-Freudian Psychoanalysis, and Historical Materialism 2. The Day the Sun Stood Still: Benjamin's Theses, Celan's Realignments, Trauma, and the Eichmann Trial 3. Pendant: Celan, Buchner, and the Terrible Voice of the Meridian 4. On the Stroke of Circumcision I: Derrida, Celan, and the Covenant of the Word 5. On the Stroke of Circumcision II: Celan, Kafka, and the Wound in the Name 6. Poetry's Demands and Abrahamic Sacrifice: Celan's Poems for Eric Notes Bibliography Index
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- ID: 9780823255115
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