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Difference and OrientationAn Alexander Kluge Reader$
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Alexander Kluge and Richard Langston

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781501739200

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501739200.001.0001

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A Plan with the Force of a Battleship

A Plan with the Force of a Battleship

(p.208) 12 A Plan with the Force of a Battleship
Difference and Orientation

Alexander Kluge

, Richard Langston
Cornell University Press

This chapter explores Alexander Kluge's retrospective evaluation of Soviet avant-garde cinema practices. Kluge recounts Sergei Eisenstein's plan in 1927 to film Capital, “based on the scenario by Karl Marx.” During the following two years, Eisenstein pursues his plan, which no one is willing to finance. Kluge sees Eisenstein's grand plan to film Capital as a kind of imaginary quarry. One can find fragments there, but one may also discover that there is nothing to be found. Dealing in a respectful way with the plans of a great master like Eisenstein is similar to excavating an ancient site; one discovers more about oneself than actual shards and treasures. Kluge suggests that “today we experience the proliferation of existent conditions. Objective reality has outstripped us, but we also have reason to fear the mass of subjectivity that eludes our consciousness.” In 2008, it is dangerous to confront this reality with the method and the expectations of Marx: one becomes discouraged. Kluge then provides a definition of images.

Keywords:   Alexander Kluge, avant-garde cinema, Sergei Eisenstein, Karl Marx, objective reality, subjectivity, images

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