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    Title: Walter Benjamin and the paradox of modernity
    Other Titles: 華特.班雅明與現代性之吊詭
    Authors: 陳子周;Chen, Tze-Chou
    Contributors: 淡江大學英文學系博士班
    蔡振興;Tsai, Chen-Hsing
    Keywords: 現代性;流變性;恆久性;鋼鐵建築;虛無;異化;資產階級住所;內在空白;技術本質;靈光;交雜;科技複製;野蠻;波特萊爾;馬克思;盧卡奇;班雅明;modernity;ephemerality;eternity;iron construction;emptiness;alienation;bourgeois dwelling;interior;technical quality;Aura;interpenetration;technological reproducibility;barbarism;Baudelaire;Marx;Lukacs;Benjamin
    Date: 2012
    Issue Date: 2013-04-13 10:27:43 (UTC+8)
    Abstract: 現代性非單一面向。 波特萊爾 (Charles Baudelaire) 觀察到現代性的雙重結構,發現現代性同時蘊含「流變」 (the ephemeral) 與「恆久」 (the eternal) 這兩種特質。表面上,這兩種對比特質相互排斥;但實質上依循辯證邏輯交互運行。就波特萊爾所認知,恆久性與個人特質 (original personality) 相關,與流變性共生;更重要的,恆久性源自於流變性,兩者交織成一幅欣欣向榮的現代圖像。同樣地,馬克思 (Karl Marx) 也依雙重思維體察現代性。一方面,現代性與革命潛能同義,主司破壞。然而,破壞力亦非單一面向:有非常的破壞,才有非常的建設。根據馬克思的唯物辯證法,當「實體消失,揮發成虛無」 (“all that is solid melts into air”),人性本質得以循序發展。龐雜的現代化歷史工程包括機械革新與市場流通,均得力於資產階級的開發成果。資產階級革命創造理想的文明世界,允諾自由。自主性一旦出現,現代性得以開花結果。不過,此美麗新世界是否恰如其分,依舊議論紛紛。馬克思鼓吹革命,但也不得不批判現代性所揭櫫的資產階級式文明。批評家伯曼 (Marshall Berman) 對現代性有著獨特的閱讀方式。他首次將現代化的歷史進程與浮士德悲劇作一連結,認為後者反映十八世紀末至十九世紀初雨後春筍出現的經濟結構及社會體制。哥德的浮士德是資產階級開發的戲劇化呈現,然以悲劇收尾。當文學與歷史交錯,讀者不得不思考現代化是否也以悲劇告終。現代性作為歷史進步推手的角色難免起人疑竇;本身充斥吊詭 (paradox),引發不安。本論文一開始企圖論究現代性複雜的雙重模式,緊接著探討現代性之吊詭。盧卡奇 (Georg Lukács) 的「異化」理論旨在批判現代機械中的同質化力量與去個體化 (de-individualization) 現象,可說為現代性吊詭增添悲劇色彩。在另一方面,班雅明 (Walter Benjamin) 對現代性也頗有洞見。對班雅明而言,現代性的革命潛能亦勾勒出一幅殘破圖像,廢墟林立;個人特質從有到無,主體性也隨之消失殆盡。然而,在一片廢墟當中,希望火花不滅;在個體疆界屢屢遭逢破壞的現代情境理,未來得以展開。機械複製藝術品「靈光」 (aura) 消逝,鋼鐵建築的外牆輪廓不再,皆無一倖免失去個體疆界,均給予外在成分侵蝕內在的機會,使內在本質蕩然無存,徒留創傷空白。去疆界化與內在空白代表前現代的殘餘,前文明的回歸。現代性的革命潛能發揮到極致時吊詭地帶來野蠻,但種種過去復返的跡象卻能指向未來。班雅明對現代性的重新探索,更進一步描繪出末日情景,但並非據此否定現代性,而是去肯定現代性的歷史價值。現代廢墟中隱含救贖的內在必然性;於是,新天使現身,彌賽亞也隨之降臨。班雅明維護著現代性雙重結構,依舊相信破壞力的創造因子。當前者逆轉為後者,再度交織成一幅辯證的歷史圖像時,未來在遺忘的時光裡雄辯滔滔,自我得以表達。班雅明的現代性理論淨化了悲劇的痛苦與惆悵,也為其吊詭找到了新出路。
    Modernity has more than one single dimension. For Baudelaire, the concept of modernity is a dual formulation, involving both the ephemeral and the eternal. These two opposing qualities run counter to each other. But a deeper reflection leads Baudelaire to concentrate on a dialectical interplay, in an attempt to find the origin of the eternal in the ephemeral. He paints a rosy image in which the eternal, associated with the ideal of original personality or individuality, can be derived from a state of flux. Similarly, in Marx, modernity revolves around a bi-polar model. It is, on the one hand, tantamount to the revolutionary potential, destructive in nature. Nevertheless, the destruction could have a constructive side; in fact, when all that is solid melts into air, human nature could develop steadily. In Marx’s material dialectics, the grand historical project of modernization is synonymous with bourgeois development which contributes to the innovation of machinery, the ease of communication, and the establishment of the world market. With the rise of bourgeois civilization, a new world is created in a unified situation in which freedom and autonomy prevail. The condition of modernity is therefore defined by bourgeois revolution which culminates in creating such a new world. However, how brave the new world is remains a matter of debate, and Marx, once celebrating the modernizing scheme, also undertakes a critique of bourgeois civilization. Berman, joining diverse philosophical discussions which center on the issue of modernity during the twentieth century, is the first to associate Goethe’s Faust with the historical process of modernization. To Berman, the work expresses and dramatizes the process by which, at the end of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth, a distinctive world-system, the capitalist economic structure and bourgeois social organization so to speak, takes shape. As Goethe’s Faust ends with a tragic downfall, Berman invites us to ponder at the possibility of the tragedy of development. Suspicion arises about the equation of modernization and historical progression. To some, modernity simply paints a grim picture, and is open to paradox. After expounding the notion of modernity, my dissertation then proceeds to discuss the problem of alienation in Lukács’ sense, as significantly indicative of modern pathos. He conducts a critical investigation into the homogenizing power of de-individualization for which modern machinery is held accountable. Benjamin also sharpens his insight into the multiple aspects of modernity. Instead of focusing on modernity’s inability to deliver, he manages to find a solution, insisting on glimpsing hope and the future greatness that glitters in the work of art in the age of technological reproducibility. Benjamin’s unique modern vision bears witness to the decline of aura, symptomatic of film and photograph. They are devoid of unique existence, but it is through these fissures that the future speaks eloquently. It also sees the sign of decay, which inflicts the exposed ironwork of architecture, the iron construction. It suffers traumatic interior, but in Benjamin’s analysis, this marks the condition when the Messiah reveals himself. With the shriveling of aura and the dismantling of the exterior, the pre-modern residue of barbarism surfaces up in the realm of interpenetration, one embittering epitome of the modern condition. Rather than problematicizing the condition which results from technological development, Benjamin takes cognizance of the revolutionary merit that lies within the very condition, linking it to the fulfillment of modernity. Benjamin’s persistent dialectical perspective of such a new and positive barbarism reaffirms the value of modernity, pointing to its inherent necessity of redemption. It also indicates a path away from the potential modern pathos.
    Appears in Collections:[英文學系暨研究所] 學位論文

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