Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://cuir.car.chula.ac.th/handle/123456789/61157
Title: Transnational Modernism and the Problem of Temporal Spatialisation in Franz Kafka’s “The Great Wall of China”
Authors: Verita Sriratana
Email: Verita.S@chula.ac.th
Other author: Chulalongkorn University. Faculty of Arts
Subjects: Literature, Modern
Short stories
The Great Wall of China -- History and criticism
Kafka, Franz
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan
Citation: Forum of Poetics. Fall 2015 : p. 44-57
Abstract: It is often understood that time can only be perceived in terms of space and that spatialisation of time limits the power of the abstract, or the virtual, by making it strictly dependent on material conditions. Modernist literature, it is often understood, appropriates this conceptual paradigm while hinting at a possibility that space can also be perceived in terms of time and that temporalisation of space deconstructs the façade of fixed and codified spatial meanings. Derrida defines this spatio-temporal (inter)reaction and logical co-signification as spacing (espacement). However, analysis of time and temporality, as well as analysis of space/place and spatiality, in modernist writing often falls into the pitfall of the problem of temporal succession and, subsequently, of the misconception that space is fixed. The problem of succession lies in the notion that time passes and ceases to be instant(ly), leaving only a Derridean “trace”, which is spatial. This notion is problematic as it is based on the implications that space is firmly fixed and passive despite temporal “spacing”, or succession, and that space is passively imprinted upon with traces of time. I argue that space is far from fixed and passive. Its dynamism renders spatialisation of time problematic. I propose that Franz Kafka’s “The Great Wall of China” (written in 1917) is a fine example of a modernist writing which not only problematises the concepts of time and temporality as well as of space and spatiality, but also puts on centre stage the problem of spatialisation of time. With its physical and ideological gaps and fragments as well as traces of illusory and unfinished signification, the “piecemeal” construction of the Great Wall of China in Kafka’s short story not only exposes the process of spatialising time, but also reflects the modernist subtle re-evaluation of such a conceptual paradigm.
URI: http://cuir.car.chula.ac.th/handle/123456789/61157
ISSN: 2451-1404
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Arts - Journal Articles

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Verita_Sriratana_ForumOfPoetics_fall2015.pdf291.69 kBAdobe PDFView/Open


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.