The Principles of the Weighty Tome
September 4, 2007 11:01 AM Subscribe
" . . . every second was the narrow gate, through which the Messiah could enter."
There is a lot we do not know about September 27, 1940. On that day, Walter Benjamin
found out that he needed a visa to cross the border from France into Spain. By September 28, he was dead. Was it a suicide? Was he murdered by Stalin?
He carried trunks with his last works. What was in them?
These questions will never be answered, but Benjamin is not lost to us. He told us about the culture of print and photograph
. He probed the metaphysics of hashish
. Through fashion
, and flânerie
, he traced the lineaments of the modern city. His task, as he saw it, was one of reading
, the illumination
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