Reflections: essays, aphorisms, autobiographical writing
A companion volume to Illuminations, the first collection of Walter Benjamin's writings, Reflections presents a further sampling of his wide-ranging work. Here Benjamin evolves a theory of language as the medium of all creation, discusses theater and surrealism, reminisces about Berlin in the 1920s, recalls conversations with Bertolt Brecht, and provides travelogues of various cities, including Moscow under Stalin. He moves seamlessly from literary criticism to autobiography to philosophical-theological speculations, cementing his reputation as one of the greatest and most versatile writers of the twentieth century. Also included is a new preface by Leon Wieseltier that explores Benjamin's continued relevance for our times.
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In his imagination, as in that of Rainer Maria Rilke, space rules over time; his "
topographical consciousness" shapes experience in architectonic patterns, in
neighborhoods, and in particular in urban districts the borders of which have to
For it is in this experience alone that we gain certain knowledge of what is
nearest to us and what is remotest to us, and never of one without the other. This
means, however, that man can be in ecstatic contact with the cosmos only
This loosening of the self by intoxication is, at the same time, precisely the fruitful,
living experience that allowed these people to step outside the domain of
intoxication. This is not the place to give an exact definition of Surrealist
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We can remark in passing that there is no better starting point for thought than laughter. In particular, thought usually has a better chance when one is shaken by laughter than when one’s mind is ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
A Berlin Chronicle
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Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings
Eingeschränkte Leseprobe - 2019