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The Problem of Distraction$
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Paul North

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804775380

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804775380.001.0001

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Time Wears Away / Benjamin

Time Wears Away / Benjamin

Chapter:
(p.143) Chapter 5 Time Wears Away / Benjamin
Source:
The Problem of Distraction
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804775380.003.0006

This chapter examines Walter Benjamin's thoughts on the concept of distraction. It suggests that Benjamin's theory of distraction was based on Franz Kafka's insistence on a lack of transcendence and Martin Heidegger's insistence on the need for it. It also explains that while Kafka and Heidegger associated distraction with temporal problems, Benjamin ascribed to a specific historical movement. He believed that distraction is both dispersed and dissipating and that it appears only sporadically as a producer of and a response to historical turning points.

Keywords:   distraction, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, Martin Heidegger, transcendence, historical movement

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