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The Skin of the SystemOn Germany's Socialist Modernity$
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Benjamin Robinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762472

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762472.001.0001

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Tertium Non Datur: The Systems Erotics of Socialism

Tertium Non Datur: The Systems Erotics of Socialism

(p.119) Chapter Five Tertium Non Datur: The Systems Erotics of Socialism
The Skin of the System
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines Franz Fühmann's Muses to understand the poetics of transformation whose task is to ascertain the true difference a difference makes, rather than to ascertain just any difference. Fühmann's concern is not just transformation, but transformation for the better—in fact, for the best. A poetics of supercession—a socialist poetics—finds itself only beyond itself, where the ethereal Muses engage the workaday situation of those who enunciate their songs. Fühmann's Muses show themselves in just such a material engagement in “Marsyas,” a short story that illustrates a realist poetics that is also a socialist poetics. The chapter considers a physical erotics that is not conceived as an individual bodily experience, but as a systems erotics of social transformation. This systems erotics is the source of the central figures behind Fühmann's experience of socialism, above all the principle of a present and forceful difference: the logical law of the excluded middle, tertium non datur.

Keywords:   Franz Fühmann, Muses, poetics, supercession, Marsyas, systems erotics, social transformation, socialism, tertium non datur

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