Dimitris Vardoulakis

in The Doppelgänger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232987
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235698 | DOI:

Series: Modern Language Initiative


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This chapter argues that staging by theatricality is crucial for an understanding of the Doppelgänger. Walter Benjamin's work on Franz Kafka is structured by the opposition between life and work. Benjamin argues that there are three kinds of theater in Kafka's essay on the subject: the world theater, the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and a theater characterized by what Benjamin calls the “lost gesture”. The second section of the chapter addresses the distinction between the world theater and the nature theater. The third section examines the “lost gesture”. The final section shows that alongside Kafka's Doppelgänger, the critic himself—Benjamin—must also respond to the Doppelgänger.

Keywords: heatricality; Franz Kafka; Walter Benjamin; world theater; nature theater; lost gesture

Chapter.  25378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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