Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Weak Messianic PowerFigures of a Time to Come in Benjamin, Derrida, and Celan$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael G. Levine

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255108

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255108.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see http://www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 23 November 2017

On the Stroke of Circumcision II

On the Stroke of Circumcision II

Celan, Kafka, and the Wound in the Name

Chapter:
(p.80) Five On the Stroke of Circumcision II
Source:
A Weak Messianic Power
Author(s):

Michael G. Levine

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823255108.003.0005

The chapter continues the reading of Celan’s poem “TO ONE WHO STOOD BEFORE THE DOOR,” shifting the focus from the “tropic of circumcision,” as Derrida calls it, to the figure of Rabbi Löw and the mystical tradition of golemic creation, a creative practice based on a certain performance of the divine Name. Celan conjures this tradition only to alter it from within, basing his own practice no longer on the properness of an unpronounceable Name but rather on a wound that will have gathered in its place. Here again Celan is viewed as a writer who is first and foremost a reader, and what he reads in this particular poem is the gathering wound that will have opened both in the body of the name “Kafka” and in the disease-ridden larynx of the writer. Celan gathers own his poem around this throttling silence in Kafka’s throat, reminding us of the way reading and gathering come together in the German verb lesen. Drawing his poetic reading of Kafka together in this way, Celan opens his language to the untranslatable violence of an unspeakable and irrepressible pain stuck in the throat, a pain that cannot simply be silenced or voiced.

Keywords:   Golem and Rabbi Löw, Wound, Unconscious Speech, Poetry after Auschwitz, Circumcision, Tuberculosis, Jew’s Body, Gathering as reading, Jewish mysticism, Kafka

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .