Schocken Books; New York,
There are other ways to read Walter Benjamin now, maybe better ways, but people are still reading the book that introduced him in English, Illuminationstr.
Harry Zorncarefully assembled by Hannah Arendt.
So I read it, too. The conceit of the essay is in the title. Benjamin is a real collector.
The essay is about the collector, a bit of light theorizing about the nature of book collectors filled out with a couple of pages on his greatest triumphs.
He is unpacking his books, which have been in storage for two years, lovingly handling each of his treasures, while somehow simultaneously writing an essay about his love. The depressing part is all in the future.
A year later, Benjamin flees Germany for, eventually, Paris. Nine years after the essay is published, Benjamin has to flee again, from Paris to Spain.
This journey, a fiasco, ends in suicide. Only in extinction is the collector comprehended. Ah, what a line. Or there exists a meaning that is entirely personal.
Someone could write a novel following the book around. Or a history, maybe. I am not much of a collector at this point, but I recognize this line: The true collection of every reader, the only one that is always there when I need it, is the one in my head. Is it ever a mess.
Benjamin himself is quite funny in this essay. I did not notice so many jokes in the rest of Illuminations. I will keep writing about it for a couple of days.
Posted by Amateur Reader Tom at Archiving the Future: Unpacking Benjamin's Collection. by Pil and Galia Kollectiv.
Walter Benjamin’s essay on collecting, published in under the title “Unpacking my Library”, treads a treacherous path for a Marxist. Nov 11, · Walter Benjamin's funny, depressing "Unpacking My Library" - Only in extinction is the collector comprehended.
There are other ways to read Walter Benjamin now, maybe better ways, but people are still reading the book that introduced him in English, Illuminations (, tr. Harry Zorn), carefully assembled by Hannah Arendt.
In this essay, written in , Walter Benjamin narrates the process of unpacking his library. All in boxes, he takes the reader through elements of his book collection: the memories attached to. Created Date: 3/20/ PM. Apr 30, · Walter Benjamin’s “Unpacking My Library” Illuminations: Essays and Reflections.
Ed. Hannah Arendt. Schocken Books; New York, Pg Walter Benjamin belongs to a group of people who he feels is becoming extinct. He is a true collector, more specifically a book collector. In his essay Unpacking My Library he . And so the actual essay itself that Manguel discusses in the previous book: Walter Benjamin in the throes of a divorce settlement (not present in the actual text) is thinking through the project of unpacking his large collector’s library after two years in storage/5.