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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One is the vertical coordinate of mealtimes, crossed by the evening horizontal of
the theater. One is never very far from either. Moscow is crammed with pubs and
theaters. Sentries with sweets patrol the street, many of the large grocery stores ...
Brecht speaks of the epic theater; he mentions the children's theater in which
errors of presentation, functioning as alienation effects, give the performance epic
features. With small companies something similar can happen. I recall the
interruption of action, on account of which Brecht described his theater as epic,
constantly counteracts an illusion in the audience. For such illusion is a
hindrance to a theater that proposes to make use of elements of reality in
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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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