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Abstract

In his article "Horizontality and Impossibility in Kafka's Parabolic Quests" Frank W. Stevenson explores a horizontal-parabolic interpretation of several Kafka narratives. The key idea is that the meaning/truth of a parable is being thrown-beside-itself "on the horizontal": thus it is impossible not only to vertically reach any higher meaning/truth but even to "cross-over" to a truth which has now been horizontally "displaced." Noting that Derrida's and Agamben's reading of "Before the Law" — the narrator cannot "enter into the Law" because the latter "prescribes nothing," is nothing but an "opening" — not only excludes any vertical-hierarchical dimension but even any horizontal "entrance," Stevenson suggests that this impossibility of "entering into the open" is represented indirectly by the figure of a geometric parabola whose two curving sides continually "open out" without ever "reaching."