The Demon of Writing
Since 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, is all this complaining about?
The Demon of Writing is a critical history and theory of one of the most ubiquitous, least…
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1 author picked The Demon of Writing as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
What’s not to like about a book on “the psychic life of paperwork”? The Demon of Writing is a meditation on the rise of a modern “culture of paperwork” from the French Revolution onward. It brings to the foreground things we don’t tend to think about until we are caught up in some sort of bureaucratic morass: memos, forms, reports, and files. And it probes the ideologies buried under all that official paper. Linking the rise of paperwork to the rise of political representation, Kafka is interested in the way record-keeping promises uniformity or predictability but just as often produces…
From Sarah's list on identity documents in the modern world.
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