Download PDF by Rolf J. Goebel: A Companion to the Works of Walter Benjamin

By Rolf J. Goebel

ISBN-10: 1571133674

ISBN-13: 9781571133670

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) has emerged as one of many prime cultural critics of the 20 th century. His paintings encompasses aesthetics, metaphysical language and narrative theories, German literary heritage, philosophies of background, the intersection of Marxism and Messianic concept, city topography, and the advance of images and movie. Benjamin outlined the duty of the critic as person who blasts endangered moments of the earlier out of the continuum of heritage so they reach new value. This quantity of recent essays employs this precept of actualization as its methodological software in supplying a brand new complicated advent to Benjamin's personal paintings. The essays learn Benjamin's relevant texts, issues, terminologies, and genres of their unique contexts whereas at the same time situating them in new parameters, reminiscent of modern media, reminiscence tradition, structures of gender, postcoloniality, and theories of city topographies. The significant other brings jointly a world workforce of verified and rising students to explicate Benjamin's reality from a multidisciplinary viewpoint. Designed for audiences drawn to literary feedback, cultural stories, and neighboring disciplines, the amount serves as a stimulus for brand new debates approximately Benjamin's highbrow legacy this day. participants: Dominik Finkelde, Wolfgang Bock, Bernd Witte, Lutz Koepnick, Eric Jarosinski, Karl Ivan Solibakke, Marc de Wilde, Vivian Liska, Willi Bolle, Dianne Chisholm, Adrian Daub. Rolf J. Goebel is Professor of German on the college of Alabama in Huntsville.

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The concept can be clarified by relying on concrete examples from other scholars. According to the art historian Aby Warburg, the Navajo Indians of North America perform a serpent ritual in which the handling of the snake is supposed be similar to the handling of lightning in a thunderstorm. The strong force of the flash still appears in the power of the snake, and for the Indians it can also be found in the holy pictures that they use in their ceremonies. This similarity is supposed to work both ways: when the people of these tribes draw a snake, they relate to the forces of lightning by imitating them.

This similarity is supposed to work both ways: when the people of these tribes draw a snake, they relate to the forces of lightning by imitating them. 11 Benjamin conceives of his idea of nonsensuous similarity — hidden but still to be released — only in very specific situations, in which a historian, a painter, or a poet actualizes these forces. This implementation is again close to magic and shows how magic gestures and spoken or written formulas operate. Freud calls this developed form of magic, in which one can hardly recognize the original act that the ritual is replacing, sympathetic or homoeopathic, because its resembles a specially prepared homeopathic medicine, where almost nothing of the healing substance 30 Œ WOLFGANG BOCK is left to be analyzed chemically, but nonetheless keeps its great power of healing.

Bernd Witte focuses on Benjamin’s reflections on literature as a medium of collective memory and political experience. He connects Einbahnstraße with Benjamin’s Erzähler essay on the loss of oral storytelling in the age of the modern novel and his interpretation of Baudelaire as the representative of the loss of poetic experience in the shock-like encounters of informationdominated modernity. Witte inscribes Benjamin’s media reflections into our telematic age, proposing that the computer’s merging of text, image, and sound may yield a new pedagogy of reading and writing that integrates the technological possibilities available today.

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A Companion to the Works of Walter Benjamin by Rolf J. Goebel


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