(99) Kafka and Paper Authority

Has anyone been following this story? It is great.

Judith Butler is one of my favorite media theorists who likes destablizing things


If you read the article check out the letters at the bottom – fascinating: this one in particular

From Martin Jenkins

The juxtaposition of Judith Butler’s article and Jim Holt’s review of The Shallows suggests one possible solution to the problem of Kafka’s legacy (LRB, 3 March). Assuming it were in his or her power, a presiding judge could make it a condition of ownership that the entire archive, every last scrap of it, be digitised and made freely available in suitable downloadable format over the internet. Anyone, anywhere could then construct a personalised version of the archive, organised in any way they saw fit. The physical location of the original material would become a matter of little importance, of interest only to paper fetishists and the odd forensic scientist, for goodness knows what arcane research project. More properly, the papers themselves would be destroyed once digitisation were complete, finally honouring Kafka’s wishes, and leaving the work itself truly weg von hier, for if anywhere meets the conditions of a destination that, as Judith Butler puts it, is not a place as we know a place to be, it is surely cyberspace, or whatever we choose to call it these days.


1 Comment»

  yeongran wrote @

what an interesting comment Jenkins made!
considering that famous paintings are treated as commodities, which are really expansive, regardless their multiple copies as printed matters as well as digitized image file, I think Jenkins too simply took this controversy as paper fetish.
maybe I should loot at Bejamin’s essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, applying his theory to the Age of the Digital. it will lead us to think about the value of paper itself, which has been born because of the digital.


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