By Benjamin, Walter; Weber, Samuel; Benjamin, Walter
“There is not any global of idea that's not an international of language,” Walter Benjamin remarked, “and one in simple terms sees on the planet what's preconditioned via language.” during this ebook, Samuel Weber, a number one theorist on literature and media, unearths a brand new and efficient element of Benjamin’s idea by way of targeting a little-discussed stylistic trait in his formula of techniques.
Weber’s concentration is the severe suffix “-ability” that Benjamin so tellingly deploys in his paintings. The “-ability” (-barkeit, in German) of ideas and literary kinds traverses the full of Benjamin’s oeuvre, from “impartibility” and “criticizability” in the course of the recognized formulations of “citability,” “translatability,” and, such a lot famously, the “reproducibility” of “The murals within the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility.” Nouns shaped with this suffix, Weber issues out, consult with possible or potentiality, to a ability instead of an current truth. This perception makes it possible for a constant and enlightening analyzing of Benjamin’s writings.
Weber first situates Benjamin’s engagement with the “-ability” of varied strategies within the context of his whole corpus and when it comes to the philosophical culture, from Kant to Derrida. next chapters deepen the consequences of using this suffix in a large choice of contexts, together with Benjamin’s Trauerspiel ebook, his relation to Carl Schmitt, and a analyzing of Wagner’s Ring. the result's an illuminating standpoint on Benjamin’s notion when it comes to his language—and the most penetrating and accomplished debts of Benjamin’s paintings ever written.
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Extra info for Benjamin's -abilities
For the Hegelian notion of mediation as an infinite process of becoming other in order to become the same, presents a strategy of safeguarding finitude from an alterity, and from a future that would not come full circle as a return of the same. ” It is a world in which one can “reasonably” hope to “get a hold on” on the future, indeed, in which reason is defined precisely in terms of such a project, which in turn depends on the control of “the media” (subjective and objective genitive). The Immediacy of Impart-ability: Language as Medium (Walter Benjamin) And yet, what distinguishes our epoch, at the beginning of the twentyfirst century, is the paradox that precisely to the extent that this hold strives to extend its scope over the entire globe, it appears to lose its grip.
The medium here is conceived as a separation that nonetheless binds, joins, not directly, but by means of a movement, a transmission, a transformation. In order to be perceived, visible phenomena—and it is no accident that the favored example of sense perception, and of the medium, always seems to be visual, or audiovisual—require a “medium” through which they can move. This is why the defining property of the medium, in this discussion of Aristotle, but perhaps also far more Impart-ability 35 generally, is that of transparency.
Form is thus conceived not as a means of exhibiting or of representing (darstellen) content, but as “a peculiar modification of reflection, limiting itself” (GS1, 76; SW1, 158). Criticism reflects and thereby de-limits—that is, dissolves—the “positive” form of the individual work by exposing its appurtenance to the more general medium of reflection, which for the Romantics comprises the determining Idea of art itself. The problem remains, however, that of explaining just how such a general idea of reflection can limit itself in individual works and still remain pure reflection.