The Demon of Writing (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
Zone Books
9 b&w illus.; 18 Illustrations, unspecified
229 x 152 x 18 mm
295 g
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The Demon of Writing (häftad)

The Demon of Writing

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Häftad Engelska, 2020-03-10
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A history and theory of the powers, the failures, and even the pleasures of paperwork. Since the middle of the eighteenth century, political thinkers of all kinds-radical and reactionary, professional and amateur-have been complaining about "bureaucracy." But what, exactly, are they complaining about? In The Demon of Writing, Ben Kafka offers a critical history and theory of one of the most ubiquitous, least understood forms of media: paperwork. States rely on records to tax and spend, protect and serve, discipline and punish. But time and again, this paperwork proves to be unreliable. Examining episodes that range from the story of a clerk who lost his job and then his mind in the French Revolution to an account of Roland Barthes's brief stint as a university administrator, Kafka reveals the powers, the failures, and even the pleasures of paperwork. Many of its complexities, he argues, have been obscured by the comic-paranoid style that characterizes much of our criticism of bureaucracy. Kafka proposes a new theory of what Karl Marx called the "bureaucratic medium." Moving from Marx to Freud, he argues that this theory of paperwork must include both a theory of praxis and of parapraxis.
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Recensioner i media

Kafka examines the meaning and implications of this new regime, intertwining threads of historical narrative, psychoanalytic theory, and intriguing anecdotes into a thoroughly absorbing read. -Peter Lopatin, The Weekly Standard Ben Kafka does the important job of reminding us that paperwork is part of the great human traditions, not only of communication and information, but also of revolution, existential philosophy, and for some, religion. -The New Republic [Kafka] pursues an argument that leads from paper to paperwork, 'the psychic life of paperwork,' the concepts of major is provocative, original, and a very good read. -Robert Darnton, The New York Review of Books Kafka's book is a keen, vivacious examination of the frustrating 'unpredictability' of paperwork as a cultural institution. -Publishers Weekly

Övrig information

Ben Kafka is an Assistant Professor of Media History and Theory at New York University and a candidate at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), a component society of the International Psychoanalytical Association. He works with adult and adolescent patients through the IPTAR Clinical Center and the NYC Free Clinic.