“Isn’t it evident in my very appearance that I am completely occupied with a serious matter?” – FRANZ KAFKA on wanting to be seen by his father not as a seeming failure, but as a writer. Sadly, writers are not seen in their activity, because most of it happens in the mind first. http://ift.tt/1XbFCZe

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“K.’s drive for self-sabotage does not necessarily preclude agency and creativity. It is just that these states of self-possession and self-destruction are simultaneously present and, for K., apparently inextricable from one another.” – Annie Ring, “In the Law’s Hands: S/M Pleasure in Der Proceß, a Queer Reading”, Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. 48, No. 3, (2012) pp.306-322. (via impossiblekafka) http://ift.tt/1Kohsmn

“In Spinozan terms, Josef K.’s observation about the pervasiveness of lying is an assertion of his power (potentia), an act of resistance against an empty law devoid of truth. This is not a sense of freedom as the opposite of the imprisonment in guilt that is the outcome of a transcendent law. It is, rather, as Deleuze and Guattari put it, a “line of escape and not freedom” (Kafka 35). In other words, it is a sense of freedom that operates in a register that is different from that of a law without truth. In fact, it is a liberation precisely from that false promise of freedom contained in transcendent law. This is not an absolute freedom from imprisonment and guilt, but a freedom that is mediated by its agonistic relation to that illusory sense of absolute freedom. Josef K. liberates himself from the universalization of empty law. He is free from the illusory promise of a universal freedom that the empty law without truth offers.” – Dimitris Vardoulakis, “Kafka’s Empty Law: Laughter and Freedom in The Trial” in Brendan Moran and Carlo Salzani (eds), Philosophy and Kafka, Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 33-52

…but he doesn’t realise or act on it because he’s still chasing the phantom of “complete acquittal” – standing in front of an open door that he can’t walk through

(via impossiblekafka) http://ift.tt/1NIvG7Q

“The dispersal of an empty law makes judgment legitimate and

yet also completely arbitrary and thus an instrument of the exercise of unlimited authority. Law’s emptiness—the absence of a content to the law—can become the ultimate trick that authority plays, namely, dissimulating a denial of content only so that everyone is forced to supply arbitrarily content every instant anew, and yet always with the same result—ascription of guilt. The emptiness of the law is universal, but in biopolitics this is understood as the license for everyone to pass an arbitrary judgment—that is, a judgment without concern for truth. In this sense, the prison without walls represented in The Trial can be viewed as the perfect depiction of the repressive emptiness of the law. This pure authority of the empty law is only possible because the law is dissociated from truth.” – Dimitris Vardoulakis, “Kafka’s Empty Law: Laughter and Freedom in The Trial” in Brendan Moran and Carlo Salzani (eds), Philosophy and Kafka, Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 33-52
(via impossiblekafka) http://ift.tt/1QmXex9

“…when Titorelli says that the judges are invisible, this is not because the judges are hidden and their judgments assume a universally true content, but because they are everywhere and their judgments are arbitrary. Everyone is a judge, everyone condemns Josef K. from the very first moment of his arrest without charge. In the absence of any justification or legitimacy based on a sense of legality, their judgments are capricious, contingent upon their mood. And yet, their judgments are simultaneously all the more uniform and universal: they all pronounce Josef K. guilty. The effect of this universalization of contingency is that the law is dispersed and all-encompassing—it is omnipresent and omnipotent.” – Dimitris Vardoulakis, “Kafka’s Empty Law: Laughter and Freedom in The Trial” in Brendan Moran and Carlo Salzani (eds), Philosophy and Kafka, Lexington Books, 2013, pp. 33-52 (via impossiblekafka) http://ift.tt/1OCXDwY