, where he describes an original work of art as having ‘authenticity’.
By this he means it has a presence in time and space, and a unique existence in the place it happens to be.
These letters showed that although Benjamin professed to be a Marxist of sorts from the mid-Twenties on, from his first days to his last he was profoundly absorbed by theological questions.
This aspect of his thought appears most clearly in his exchanges with Scholem, which make up the largest surviving portion of his correspondence.
The single most famous text on collecting ever written is perhaps Walter Benjamin‘s only 10 pages long essay “Unpacking my library”, published in “Illuminations” — in which Benjamin talks about collecting books and what it means to be a collector. This book or this painting has had previous owners, it has traveled through time and space — and it has now been renewed by becoming part of the collection. In this blog I hope to be able to interview collectors from all around, and I hope to be able to bring essays on different aspects of collecting.
“Every passion,” Benjamin says, “borders on the chaotic, but the collector’s passion borders on the chaos of memories.” He describes collectors as “physiognomists of the world of objects” that by acquiring objects locks them within a magic circle, the private collection, and as “interpreters of fate” — because the true collector not only sees a plain material object, be it a book or otherwise. Within the collector’s magic circle an old and for most people worthless postcard stops being just and old and worthless postcard. If you are a collector yourself, and if you would like to contribute, please do not hesitate to contact me.
A new translation of philosopher Walter Benjamin’s work as it pertains to his famous essay, “The Storyteller,” this collection includes short stories, book reviews, parables, and as a selection of writings by other authors who had an influence on Benjamin’s work.“The Storyteller” is one of Walter Benjamin’s most important essays, a beautiful and suggestive meditation on the relation between narrative form, social life, and individual existence—and the product of at least a decade’s work.
This blog isn’t so much about specific collections as it is about collectors and collecting. It is infused with new life — being a cherished possession.
This collection brings them all together to give readers a new appreciation of how Benjamin’s thinking changed and ripened over time, while including several key readings of his own—texts by his contemporaries Ernst Bloch and Georg Lukács; by Paul Valéry; and by Herodotus and Montaigne.
Finally, to bring things around, there are three short stories by “the incomparable Hebel” with whom the whole intellectual adventure began.