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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We are, as readers, involved in a Proustian exercise in creating a past by using
the finest snares of consciousness; to remember, Benjamin writes, is to "open the
fan of memory," but he who starts to open the fan "never comes to the end of its ...
carpet beating that came in at the window with the moist air on rainy days and
engraved itself more indelibly in the child's memory than the voice of the beloved
in that of the man, the carpet beating that was the language of the nether world, ...
At this point memory pauses, and only picks up its thread again when I am
mounting the stairs to the circle in the evening, before the performance of Richard
II. What is it that imposes once again on memory, at the door of the auditorium, a "
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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
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