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."
Stevenson, Frank W.
"Horizontality and Impossibility in Kafka's Parabolic Quests."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 1510 times as of 10/27/23.
American Studies Commons, Comparative Literature Commons, Education Commons, European Languages and Societies Commons, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Other Arts and Humanities Commons, Other Film and Media Studies Commons, Reading and Language Commons, Rhetoric and Composition Commons, Social and Behavioral Sciences Commons, Television Commons, Theatre and Performance Studies Commons