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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It summons the word by its name, wrenches it destructively from its context, but
precisely thereby calls it back to its origin. It appears, now with rhyme and reason,
sonorously, congruously in the structure of a new text. As rhyme it gathers the ...
felt, perhaps without knowing why and probably involuntarily, that an attack on
capital punishment assails, not legal measure, not laws, but law itself in its origin.
For if violence, violence crowned by fate, is the origin of law, then it may be
Not only that; like the outcome, the origin of every contract also points toward
violence. It need not be directly present in it as lawmaking violence, but is
represented in it insofar as the power that guarantees a legal contract is in turn of
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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