Download Bruno Schulz and Jewish Modernity by Karen Christine Underhill PDF

By Karen Christine Underhill

Within the previous chapters, i've got mentioned elements of Schulz’s writing that basically exhibit a
desire to barter a dialectical/redemptive courting among the loved, fragmentary,
profane international, and the messianic – understood as dwelling and everlasting potentiality. In last, i need circulate outward from the specificity of Schulz’s textual content, to think about back what sort of writing Schulz’s texts characterize, and in what feel it really is normal of or consultant of contemporary Jewish messianic texts. that allows you to do that, i'll go back now to think about the concept that of a “third language” in additional intensity, describing the resource of this actual formula of Jacques Derrida’s, and constructing a typology for what a textual content written within the ‘third language’ may appear like. Schulz’s writing, I argue, belongs to this class – one who originates within the sleek messianic writings of philosophers in his iteration, and divulges its robust legacy within the paintings of latest critics that still proceed the culture of contemporary Jewish messianism.

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In a sense the kind of monad of meaning which Benjamin proposes is a constellation that does not fit within chronological time itself: the historian has to explode the boundaries of time in order to create his “wholes” in a space outside of time – a space extra to history. For Schulz, the messianic-imaginary consists of “supernumary events,” for which time precisely has left no room: “Yet what is to be done with events that have no place of their own in time […] events that have been left in the cold, unregistered, hanging in the air, homeless, and errant?

38 perception into a “messianic time”; the space or state of the Benjaminian constellation. Thus “Mityzacja rzeczywistości,” the “mythicizing of reality,” can be understood both as a mode of perception that happens to an individual, and also as the process by which the artist in a poetic or narrative text allows (or attempts to allow) messianic constellations to take form – moments that Schulz refers to as “provisional eternity,” momentarily suspended outside of normal time. Occasionally Schulz attempts within his text to describe this messianic suspension directly, as in a scene from the story Wiosna (Spring): “[Ulice] stały długie i jasne, odświętnie zamiecione, jak gdyby czekały na czyjeś dalekie jeszcze i niewiadome przyjście” (BN, 140) (“[The streets] looked long and festively swept, as if waiting for someone’s announced but uncertain arrival”) (P, 147), says Joseph – cuing us with anticipatory language.

The living remnant which awaits the messiah becomes itself sacralized as a sign of that apotheosis: it becomes itself 47 – the present that is – the Authentic. If understood as a special type of language or speech, the Authentic is the word not of the prophet, but (to adopt the contrast made by Agamben), of the apostle – who differs from the prophet in that he speaks already knowing that he lives in a messianic age. His word is no longer oriented towards the future, asking us to prepare – but toward the present, asking us to see – differently – and toward the past, asking us to remember.

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