By Alexander Gelley
In transposing the Freudian dream paintings from the person topic to the collective, Walter Benjamin projected a "macroscosmic journey" of the person sleeper to "the dreaming collective, which, during the arcades, communes with its personal insides." Benjamin's attempt to transpose the dream phenomenon to the heritage of a collective remained fragmentary, notwithstanding it underlies the main of retrograde temporality, which, it really is argued, is vital to his thought of history.
The "passages" aren't simply the Paris arcades: They refer additionally to Benjamin's attempt to barter the labyrinth of his paintings and inspiration. Gelley works via a lot of Benjamin's later works and examines very important severe questions: the interaction of aesthetics and politics, the style of The Arcades Project, quotation, language, messianism, charisma, and the motifs of reminiscence, the group, and awakening.
For Benjamin, reminiscence is not just antiquarian; it capabilities as a solicitation, a decision to a collectivity to return. Gelley reads this name within the motif of awakening, which conveys a professional yet the most important performative purpose of Benjamin's venture.
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Additional info for Benjamin's Passages: Dreaming, Awakening
May 6, 1934, GB 4: 408–9) The subsequent letters to Scholem signal that an intellectual distancing is underway, or at least that Benjamin is restricting what can treated in their correspondence. Benjamin seems to avoid issues of religion and ideology in his letters to Scholem, probably wishing to avoid any friction with his old friend. 16. April 19, 1934, in Walter Benjamin / Gershom Scholem Briefwechsel 1933–1940, ed. Gershom Scholem (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 1985), 136. My translation.
The storyteller is a man who has counsel for his readers. But if today “having counsel” [Rat wissen] is beginning to have an old-fashioned ring, this is because the communicability of experience is decreasing. In consequence, we have no counsel either for ourselves or for others. After all, counsel is less an answer to a question than a proposal concerning the continuation of a story that is in the process of unfolding. To seek this counsel, one would ﬁrst have to be able to tell the story. . Counsel woven into the fabric of real life [gelebten Lebens] is wisdom.
From 1934 to his death in 1940 Benjamin was at ﬁrst partially and then wholly dependent on the ﬁnancial support of the Institute for Social Research, then located in New York. Max Horkheimer was the director of the Institute but Adorno was also involved in its administration and it was in great part with Adorno that Benjamin dealt regarding his contributions to the Institute’s Zeitschrift. The strains on Benjamin resulting from this situation became strikingly clear when in November 1938, Adorno, acting then in an editorial capacity for the Zeitschrift, in effect rejected Benjamin’s “The Paris of the Second Empire in Baudelaire,” a rejection that Adorno justiﬁed in a long letter of November 10, 1938.
Benjamin's Passages: Dreaming, Awakening by Alexander Gelley