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Walter Benjamin (1892 – 1940)


German Jewish literary critic and philosopher.
Walter Benjamin
Only a thoughtless observer can deny that correspondences come into play between the world of modern technology and the archaic symbol-world of mythology.
Benjamin quotes
History breaks down in images not into stories.
Benjamin
Thinking involves not only the flow of thoughts, but their arrest as well.




Benjamin Walter quotes
There is no muse of philosophy, nor is there one of translation.
Benjamin Walter
The historical materialist leaves it to others to be drained by the whore called "Once upon a time" in historicism's bordello.
Walter Benjamin quotes
The present, which, as a model of Messianic time, comprises the entire history of mankind in an enormous abridgment, coincides with the stature which the history of mankind has in the universe.
Walter Benjamin
To articulate the past historically does not mean to recognize it "the way it really was"...It means to seize hold of a memory as it flashes up at a moment of danger.
Benjamin Walter quotes
The destructive character knows only one watchword: make room. And only one activity: clearing away. His need for fresh air and open space is stronger than any hatred.
Benjamin
The true picture of the past flits by. The past can be seized only as an image which flashes up at the instant when it can recognized and is never seen again.
Benjamin Walter
There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism.
Walter Benjamin
The nourishing fruit of the historically understood contains time as a precious but tasteless seed.




Walter Benjamin quotes
The nature of this melancholy becomes clearer, once one asks the question, with whom does the historical writer of historicism actually empathize. The answer is irrefutably with the victor. Those who currently rule are however the heirs of all those who have ever been victorious. Empathy with the victors thus comes to benefit the current rulers every time.
Walter Benjamin
Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. [...] Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.
Benjamin quotes
...nothing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost for history. To be sure, only a redeemed mankind receives the fullness of its past -- which is to say, only a redeemed mankind has its past become citable in all its moments. Each moment it has lived becomes a citation ? l'ordre du jour -- and that day is Judgement Day.
Benjamin Walter
The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the "state of emergency" in which we live is not the exception but the rule.
Benjamin Walter quotes
There is a secret agreement between past generations and the present one. Our coming was expected on earth. Like every generation that preceded us, we have been endowed with a weak Messianic power, a power to which the past has a claim. That claim cannot be settled cheaply.
Walter Benjamin
The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of Antichrist. Only that historian will have the gift of fanning the spark of hope in the past who is firmly convinced that even the dead will not be safe from the enemy if he wins. And this enemy has not ceased to be victorious.
Walter Benjamin quotes
The good tidings which the historian of the past brings with throbbing heart may be lost in a void the very moment he opens his mouth.
Walter Benjamin
I would like to metamorphose into a mouse-mountain.
Benjamin Walter
For every second of time was the strait gate through which the Messiah might enter.


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