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  1. Double take : palimpsestic writing and image-character in Benjamin's late prose
    Erschienen: 01.12.2016

    It is no accident that the figuration of rewriting as copying is an image from "One Way Street". This apparently casual assemblage of small, rather belletristic texts - still some of the least explored terrain in all of Benjamin - is in important... mehr

     

    It is no accident that the figuration of rewriting as copying is an image from "One Way Street". This apparently casual assemblage of small, rather belletristic texts - still some of the least explored terrain in all of Benjamin - is in important ways the key to all of Benjamin’s later writing, and especially that writing based on the form of the "Denkbild" or figure of thought. In what follows, I will concentrate on one set of paired examples in order to demonstrate in a more focused way the practice of rewriting and its effects: on the relationship between "Berlin Childhood around 1900" and "One Way Street".

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-5071-5
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte, Darstellung, Literaturwissenschaft und –kritik (809)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  2. Benjamin's "-abilities" : mediality and concept formation in Benjamin’s early writings
    Erschienen: 11.11.2016

    Although Walter Benjamin was never timid when it came to writing, one practice he consistently avoided was that of creating neologisms. It is therefore with all the more reluctance that I find myself compelled to resort to something similar, in order... mehr

     

    Although Walter Benjamin was never timid when it came to writing, one practice he consistently avoided was that of creating neologisms. It is therefore with all the more reluctance that I find myself compelled to resort to something similar, in order to sum up a motif that has imposed itself over the years in my reading of Benjamin. What is involved is, to be sure, not exactly a neologism, since it does not involve the creation of a new word, but rather the highlighting of a word-part, a suffix (eine Nachsilbe). In English, to be sure, this suffix, when spoken, is indistinguishable from a word: what distinguishes it from a word is not audible, but only legible: a hyphen, marking a separation that is also a joining, a 'Bindestrich' that does not bind it to anything in particular and yet that requires it to be bound to something else. The suffix in question thus sounds deceptively familiar, since it coincides, audibly, with the word "abilities". However, unlike that word, its first letter - which purely by accident happens to be the first letter of the alphabet--is preceded by a dash. When written in isolation, this gives it a somewhat bizarre appearance, to be sure, since suffixes are not usually encountered separately from the words they modify. But this bizarre appearance pales when compared to its German 'original'. If the book of essays to be published in English under the title, "Benjamin’s -abilities," is ever translated into German - "back" into German I was tempted to write, since German here is of course the language in which Benjamin wrote and in which I generally read him - then its title, were it to be entirely faithful to the English, would indeed have to involve the creation of a neologism. For translated back into German, the German title would require its readers to "read, what was never written", namely: "Benjamins -barkeiten" (written, "Bindestrich- b--kleingeschrieben").

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-4637-4
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte, Darstellung, Literaturwissenschaft und –kritik (809)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  3. "Hamlet ist auch Saturnkind" : Citationality, Lutheranism, and German Identity in Benjamin’s 'Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels'
    Erschienen: 11.11.2016

    In a letter to Scholem, dated 22 December, 1924, Benjamin famously writes of the manuscript that was to become his 'Trauerspiel' book: "[I]ndessen überrascht mich nun vor allem, daß, wenn man so will, das Geschriebene fast ganz aus Zitaten besteht"... mehr

     

    In a letter to Scholem, dated 22 December, 1924, Benjamin famously writes of the manuscript that was to become his 'Trauerspiel' book: "[I]ndessen überrascht mich nun vor allem, daß, wenn man so will, das Geschriebene fast ganz aus Zitaten besteht" (GS I.3, 881). Much has been made of the mosaic-like citational technique to which Benjamin refers here; his "Zitatbegriff" is said, for example, to subtend the theory of a "mikrologische Verarbeitung" of "Denkbruchstücken" into "Ideen" that Benjamin develops as his theory of representation in the "Erkenntniskritische Vorrede", which in turn figures the relation between individual phenomena and their "ideas" in astral terms. Because, however, the 'Trauerspiel' book is so often understood only on this theoretical level, e.g. as either an early articulation of Benjamin’s "avant garde" and "messianic" philosophy of history (Jäger, Kany, and Pizer) or as a performance of his systems of allegory (Menninghaus) and "constructivism" (Schöttker), his "Zitierpraxis" and the actual citations that form large parts of 'Der Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiel' have seldom been read for the purchase they provide on the vexed status of the period and concept that was the book’s direct subject, namely, the German Baroque.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-4637-4
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte, Darstellung, Literaturwissenschaft und –kritik (809)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  4. Benjamin's nihilism : rhythm and political stasis
    Erschienen: 15.11.2016

    Walter Benjamin's best-known comment regarding nihilism - "to strive for such a passing away [for nature is messianic by reason of its eternal and total passing away] [...] is the task of world politics, whose method must be called nihilism" (SW III,... mehr

     

    Walter Benjamin's best-known comment regarding nihilism - "to strive for such a passing away [for nature is messianic by reason of its eternal and total passing away] [...] is the task of world politics, whose method must be called nihilism" (SW III, 306) - occurs at the conclusion of his "Theological-Political Fragment" (1920–1921). In this pithy fragment Benjamin challenged the distinction between the political and the theological by pointing out the necessary relation - even codependence - of historical time and messianic time, the secular and the redemptive. The focus is the temporal dimension that dictates one’s "rhythm of life," on the one hand, and politics - its formative power - on the other. Benjamin’s translation of such abstract principles into different systems - the secular and the religious, the abstract and the particular, the collective and the individual - have confused scholars for many years. The result was often a misreading of Benjamin’s last sentence, connecting politics to nihilism and identifying the maker with his method. In order to reverse such readings, this chapter moves in four consecutive stages. I begin with the "temporal-rhythmic" principle, relating it to Benjamin's notion of Nihilism as a method. Second, I consider the specific meanings of "Nihilism" during the 19th and early 20th centuries, which I identify with the idea of a temporal 'stasis'. Third, I track down Benjamin’s uses of Nihilism and demonstrate that they reflect a certain methodological approach rather than a solution to a problem. Finally, commenting directly on contemporary interpreters of Benjamin who see him as a "nihilist" or an "anarchist," I show that Benjamin focused on the temporal and critical dimensions in order to 'overcome' nihilism and stasis.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-5071-5
    DDC Klassifikation: Philosophie und Psychologie (100); Literatur und Rhetorik (800)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen
  5. Walter Benjamin : the Angel of Victory and the Angel of History
    Erschienen: 16.11.2016

    Walter Benjamin's 9th thesis on the concept of history is his most-quoted and -commented text. As it is well known, his idea of the "Angel of History" appears as a commentary on Paul Klee’s famous watercolor titled 'Angelus Novus'. I think it is... mehr

     

    Walter Benjamin's 9th thesis on the concept of history is his most-quoted and -commented text. As it is well known, his idea of the "Angel of History" appears as a commentary on Paul Klee’s famous watercolor titled 'Angelus Novus'. I think it is necessary to open another way of interpretation through the connection of Benjamin’s Angel of History with the political iconography of Berlin, the city where he was born and lived for many years and about which he wrote in his memories of childhood, his Berlin chronicles and radio programs. I shall begin the historical narrative of Berlin's political iconography with a figure to which Benjamin paid little attention: the Goddess Fortune.

     

    Hinweise zum Inhalt: kostenfrei
    Quelle: CompaRe
    Sprache: Englisch
    Medientyp: Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
    Format: Online
    ISBN: 978-3-7705-5071-5
    DDC Klassifikation: Literatur und Rhetorik (800); Geschichte und Geografie (900)
    Sammlung: Leibniz-Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL)
    Lizenz: Veröffentlichungsvertrag für Publikationen