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About this product
- DescriptionSince 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-paraid 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.
- Author BiographyBen 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.
- Author(s)Ben Kafka
- PublisherZone Books
- Date of Publication27/11/2012
- SubjectCommunication & Media
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintZone Books
- Content Note9 b&w illus.
- Weight446 g
- Width163 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine19 mm
- Interest AgeFrom 18
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