chapter  17
22 Pages

Carlo Salzani (2013), 'In a Messianic Gesture: Agamben's Katka', in Brendan Moran and Carlo Salzani (eds), Philosophy and Kafka, Plymouth: Lexington Books, pp. 261-82

Kafka's (and Benjamin's) messianism eonstitutes the philosophical and strategie perspeetive from whieh and through whieh Agamben approaehes his objeet of analysis. The unfolding of argument, moreover, very often proeeeds in aseries of gestures, those same gestures that Benjamin identified as the deeisive mode of Kafka's understanding. This means that Agamben's philosophy, like Kafka's writings, eludes traditional c1assifieations and "attempts to eonvert poetry into teaching,,,4 or, better, proposes a "ereative eriticism" (as he ealls it in Stanzas, xii/xvi whieh, merging poetry and philosophy, seeks its topos outopos in "the impossible task of appropriating what must, in any ease, remain unappropriable" (St xv/viii). Agamben's Kafkan gestures favor a poetie, paradoxical pro se whieh hardly explains, but rather seeks a messianie reversal in the paradox itself, in the usage of sense to eonvey prevailing or preponderant non-sense. Henee the eonvergenee of poetie and philosophie.