Parable in the works of Franz Kafka provides a literary site for exploring the relation between likeness and difference and between what can be compared and the limit of comparison. By the same token, the parabolic topos of Babel points toward an internal limit for political power and the logic of sovereignty, a limit that both gives rise to sovereignty and ruins its attempts to consolidate itself as all-encompassing and permanent. With Jorge Luis Borges, meanwhile, his return to the parable of Babel gives rise to a consideration of the absolute or specular identity of thought and being and of how such an identity would in fact announce the end of history as such. For Borges, it is from the temporality of time that history draws its possibility, above and beyond all claims to unified thought and being.


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pp. 22-43
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