What does Werner Hamacher's concept of archiphilology have in common with Saussure's view of intralinguistic, differential function in language? Perhaps the way in which the indefinite of language itself “slowly defines itself,” both in response to past acts of appropriations, and appealing for new signifieds the meaning of which can only be seized and unseized over time. Several of Kafka's short stories illustrate how literary works play out the same tension within what can be called a “progressive and digressive” narrative, warding off any internal principle of closure or conclusiveness while continuing to require endings and answers. Holderlin's “Remarks on (Sophocles') Antigone” offers a new angle to consider the rapport with the (fatherlandic) tradition, not an outright “overturning,” but a poetic, “skewed” point of view that both acknowledges one's limitations in understanding one's historical situation and allows feelings for differences of singular lives.

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