Anthropology as Memory: Elias Canetti’s and Franz Baermann by Michael Mack

By Michael Mack

While many different post-Holocaust Jewish thinkers - together with Derrida - have targeting a refusal of totality and get together of 'otherness', the poet and highbrow Franz Baermann Steiner (1909-1952) combines this emphasis with an equivalent pressure at the 'need' for convinced jointly said limits. subsequent to the broader importance of this ebook for discussions of Holocaust reviews in terms of present theoretical and social concerns, it is going to additionally provide a brand new interpretation of Elias Canetti's paintings. this can be the 1st special exam of Steiner's anthropology and philosophy and its relation to the paintings of his shut highbrow pal Canetti.

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Additional info for Anthropology as Memory: Elias Canetti’s and Franz Baermann Steiner’s Responses to the Shoah

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For a discussion of Fünfzig's misplaced hope see Edgar Piel: Elias Canetti. München: Beck 1984 (Autorenbücher; 38), p. 119-120. 1. 46 Kafka's punch can be understood as a metaphorical expression of the same idea as Canetti's »zwingen« (force): the two writers want to bring about a radical change in the reader that is preceded by the death of the old self- Kafka uses the word suicide (Selbstmord) - and through this metamorphosis of selfhood, the reader's cold, indifferent heart is cut through, so that he is ready to act against suffering in society as a whole.

84 Given that Canetti presents himself as somewhat »bookish«, one might wonder why he does not employ the notion of a poeta doctus, rather than that of a Dichter. The reason he abstains from calling himself a poeta doctus or a Gelehrter perhaps lies in the fact that all these scholarly words might move him into a self-enclosed world as described in Auto Da Fe. 85 In Auto Da Fe Canetti portrays the scholarly intellectual as someone who follows the derangement of his time instead of opposing it. 87 I shall show that Kien's scholarship does not represent enlightenment ideals (it is far too cut off from social concerns to do so) rather it depicts the realization of a positivist agenda.

36, note 95), p. 77. For a discussion of Kien's reification of knowledge, see Russell A. Berman: The Rise of the Modern German Novel. Crisis and Charisma. : Harvard University Press 1986, p. 195-203. 102 In comparison to Kraus, Canetti does not give a vision of China that offers an alternative to occidental shortcomings; yet one might ask whether this constitutes a failure. 103 If the reader learned anything of the fruits of Kien's research he or she would have the impression of someone who can engage in dialogue.

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