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  1. "Schmerz war ein Staudamm" : Benjamin on pain
    Erschienen: 22.06.2017

    To explicate what distinguishes pain, Benjamin elaborates: "Of all corporeal feelings, pain alone is like a navigable river which never dries up and which leads man down to the sea. [...] Pain [...] is a link between worlds. This is why organic... mehr

     

    To explicate what distinguishes pain, Benjamin elaborates: "Of all corporeal feelings, pain alone is like a navigable river which never dries up and which leads man down to the sea. [...] Pain [...] is a link between worlds. This is why organic pleasure is intermittent, whereas pain can be permanent. This comparison of pleasure and pain explains why the cause of pain is irrelevant for the understanding of man's nature, whereas the source of his greatest pleasure is extremely important. For every pain, even the most trivial one, can lead upward to the highest religious suffering, whereas pleasure is not capable of any enhancement, and owes any nobility it possesses to the grace of its birth - that is to say, its source. (SW I, 397)" In these important lines, pain's unique strength is linked not to its origin (this is reserved for pleasure), but rather to the way that its strenuous flow throughout the suffering body has the power to lead it to infinite heights. In contrast to pleasure, which is forever seeking out its sources, pain manifests itself most consummately when it is intensified; it fulfills itself most deeply by gradually reenforcing its own fortitude. To make sense of pain, therefore, we must understand the nature of its 'movement': and in Benjamin's metaphor of the "navigable river" - its flow. In what follows, I develop Benjamin's idea of the nature of pain as manifested in the internal law of its ,ow in two other of Benjamin's texts: 'Berlin Childhood Around 1900' (1934) and 'Thought Figures' (1933).

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-5782-0
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen