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Anachronism of Literature - Focusing on Small Literature and Minor Literature -

Eun-Young Jin 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In this article, I examine the two different interpretations of the ‘Kleine Literatur’ of Kafka: Casanova’s ‘Small Literature’ and Deleuze/Guattari's ‘Minor Literature’. Based on such an examination, I try to analyze the relationship between autonomy and contemporaneity (the political) in literature. According to Casanova, small literature refers to literary works written by writers from small countries which tend to depend upon the political situation. She suggests that peripheral literature can become Literature’s Greenwich Meridian by overcoming the politicization of literary space and acquiring the autonomy of Literature. Casanova criticizes that Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of a minor literature premises an anachronic idea that the writer is Vates (prophet)and shows an anachronical prejudice for Kafka’s politics. Their interpretation is disregarded by her as a crude one that deforms Kafka’s text and makes a historical error. However, Kafka says, “Art is a mirror, which goes ‘fast’, like a watchsometimes.”It means that anachronism is a practical and indispensable aspect of Art. As proposed by Deleuze and Guattari, an anachronic art and minor literature has its own absolute autonomy. It does not mean an achievement in literary history that has nothing to do with politics and economics, but an invention of a new assemblage that revolutionizes contemporary forms of life in the socio-political space.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.