Between part and whole: Benjamin and the single trait

Samuel Weber*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This text, which is part of a project, 'Toward a Politics and Poetics of Singularity', explores the implications of a phrase used more or less simultaneously, although independently, by Walter Benjamin and Sigmund Freud, 'the single trait' (der einzige Zug). In his 1962 lectures on the problem of identification, Jacques Lacan focused on this phrase in Freud in order to exemplify the difference between the subject and the signifier. The use of the phrase by Benjamin in his essay on 'Destiny and Character' inflects the discussion toward questions of 'comedy' and 'tragedy', and thereby links the singularity of the signifying process to literary and theatrical forms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-399
Number of pages18
JournalParagraph
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

Keywords

  • Character
  • Comedy
  • Genius
  • Politics
  • Singularity
  • Theology
  • Tragedy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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