Home / news / “Kafka for a Lesser Literature” … French Philosophers Deleuze and Gwatry’s Study of the Works of the Czech Novelist

“Kafka for a Lesser Literature” … French Philosophers Deleuze and Gwatry’s Study of the Works of the Czech Novelist

Philosophers have always presented exceptional approaches, and different readings of literature, which represented critical conquests that come out of the critical process from its describing side to its thinking side as an exercise of meditation and philosophizing.

Gilles Deleuze was one of those philosophers who, whenever he entered art, elevated his speech to an amazing balcony, he did it with cinema and with literature, and his trip with his friend and fellow French philosopher Felix Guatrei exemplifies the concerted efforts for a sophisticated, intelligent cultural product.

“Kafka for a lesser literature” is considered one of the books indicating all of the above, which entered the Arabic language this year at the hands of the translator Hussein Ajja through the Iraqi House of Sutour, which has been busy for some time presenting books and experiments known as complex, such as the critical experience of the French philosopher George Bataille and others.

Content and expression

The two authors ask about the means of access to the world of the Czech novelist Kafka, for he is a “widow” (a root-like ground stem) and a burrow.

Deleuze and Guatrei write in the opening of the book, “The palace novel (of Kafka) has many entries that one does not know precisely the laws of its use and distribution. As for the hotel of the novel“ America ”, it has countless doors, some of which are major and minor, as well as protecting it, with guards with what Its doors are equivalent to those, but there are also entrances and exits without even doors.However, the burrow appears, in the story that bears this name, it only has one entrance, and all that the beast that lives in dreams about is a second entrance that has no function other than monitoring However, this is only a trap for the brute, and Kafka as well. “

Thus, the two writers put us from the beginning in the pitfalls of Kafka’s reading and its difficulty, which is not apparent to the quick reader. They choose to access Kafka’s works from image and sound. Kafka’s works are full of photographs that furnish places, the image of curved-headed creatures, and literary works are full of voices, grunts, murmurs, screams and special melodies, and the sign that intersects with that image and paintings.

They expand on analyzing images, bowed head, and sounds. They write, “What Kafka cares about is the pure, powerful phoneme, always connected to its own possibility of its own decomposition, the sound of music that has lost its limits, a cry that escapes meaning, from composition, from the hymn, from speech, a sound that intersects in order to remove itself from a chain of still great significance.”

Nevertheless, the two writers disavow in their approach to Kafka and his works from every interpretative goal, as they do not search for what constitutes “what is called Kafka’s imagination, his vitality or his life book … nor about what is called free association or interpretation.”

Minority literature

The chapter entitled “Minority Literature” represents the most important section, which became the most famous among critics, because the book presented an understanding of minority literature, and tried to present a diagnosis of writing in this type of literature, as well as controlling the specifics and limits of this writing.

Contrary to what is believed, minority literature is not that which is written in the language of a minority under the literature of a dominant language but rather “literature made by a minority within the main language”. The book talks about the language of the Jews in Prague, which raises a major problem related to crossing the border, and the two authors link it to impossibility, as it is the peculiarity of this writing for this minority to which Kafka belongs. Deleuze and Guatrí describe “the impossibility of not writing, the impossibility of writing in German, the impossibility of writing in another way. The impossibility of not writing, because questionable national consciousness is suppressed, it necessarily passes through literature”.

The authors describe the Prague language as demolished borders and ready for strange uses. The Jews did in German what black Americans did about American English.

As for the second characteristic of minority ethics – as defined by the two writers – it is its politics, “everything in it is political: unlike the great literature which tends to be an individual affair, my family, my marriage … etc., which uses the social milieu as an environment and background, on all minority literature” and works its field The constriction to make each individual affair directly related to politics, the individual affair becomes more necessary and acquires a status that cannot be neglected.

Kafka – according to the two writers – when he deals with topics that appear normal in great literatures acquires a specificity if we look at them from the angle that he is a minority writer who writes in a dominant language, so when Kafka refers to one of the goals of minority literature as “getting rid of the conflict between parents and children and the possibility of discussion between them” does not present With this, Oedipal Fantasy “rather (proposes) a political program.”

Rather, the minority writer is convinced of the individual problem in order to write that they are more related to the minority to which he belongs, so he cannot rid his literature of the political character even if it does not appear publicly because the writer – as the two philosopher says – digs a crypt in major literature through its language to pass by daylight

Collective value

The third characteristic that the book insists on is the “acquisition of all things collective value.” He says that the literature of the minority does not precisely contain many talents, and its conditions are not given with the individual declaration .. And the scarcity of these talents is a useful thing in reality. It allows for the visualization of something other than teacher literature: what the writer alone says constitutes the initiation of a collective act with what necessarily says or done by a politician “even if he does not gain the consent of others.”

Deleuze and Gautre considers that the minority writer, who is far from his group, clings more to this political role, so the voice of the politician is higher in the minority text of a writer who lives in exile, for example, than the one who lives with his group.

Political and experimental

The two writers assert that the most important characteristic of minority literature is “the limits of language, the communication of the individual with the direct politician, and the collective organization of expression.”

In their view, there is no great, and revolutionary, other than a minority, so Kafka was drawn to the language of the servants, as did the two French novelists Prost and Celine. So Kafka went to the language of the maidservants, as it appears in the last part of the book because “the language of the maidservants has no significance, nor is music, It is the voice resulting from silence, which Kafka searches for everywhere, and whereby expression is, from the beginning, part of the collective organizational unit, from the collective complaint, devoid of the expressive self, which is concealed or distorted.

This applies to his reliance on a language that takes him to the area of ​​character management in the world of schizophrenia and paranoia, which are the realms that guarantee the transgression of the escape line by smashing the boundaries and laws imposed on language.

This applies to music, which, like literature, breaks the boundaries of language and takes it towards a new escape line that makes it get rid of the national fence and its compulsions against it since its inception. From there, literature is less powerful in that it is always experimental literature, because it is dug and dug in the ground just as dogs dig their shrines and mice their holes.

Deleuze and Guatrei consider that we live in linguistic estrangement and ask: How many people today are living with a language that is not theirs? Or until they no longer know what their language is, or not yet, and do not know the general language that they are forced to use? The authors refer to immigrants, their children, and minorities.

The problem, according to the authors, is not related to lesser literature only, but it is a problem for all of us: “How can a lesser literature be removed from one’s own language? Literature capable of digging the language and making it descend into a revolutionary thread? How can he transform into a nomad, an immigrant and a gypsy within his own language.”

The two authors travel through 9 chapters: Content and Expression, Oedipus’ Excessive Fatness, What is Minority Literature? Components of expression, desire, proliferation of chains, bonds, masses, chains, powers, what is an orderly unit. They discuss Kafka’s works from his letters, which he did not think to publish, and diaries and novels missing from trial to minors, to punishment colonies, to monstrosity. To prove what was given to him in the section of minority literature and the first sections in which he simplified the saying in expression and its forms.

This book – which celebrates Kafka’s policy and his management of minority texts within the dominant language – remains intentionally dismantling the imagination mentality of Kafka and the minority writer in general. And it needs an introduction to its Arabic translation that tries to bring this academic philosophical book closer to the reader through its grounding in the new language it is descending into.

The edition appeared in many French terms adjacent to the translator’s suggestions for the difficulty of the book, which requires more margins and a glossary of very complex Deloese terms, without which the reader cannot succeed in breaking the boundaries of the text and entering it.

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