[lit-ideas] Re: The life of Walter Benjamin, not very well told

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 21:08:02 +0000 (GMT)

'Benjamin is here as much a flesh-and-blood representative of
the modern as its theoretician. Modernism was all about the peripheral, the
ephemeral, the accidental, the transient. It was about plurality, not
singularity; ambiguity instead of certainty. Walter Benjamin traveled this
off-road, and his thought was consistent with his experience. He was an
incessant gambler, a serial adulterer, an experimenter with drugs and a refugee
in every sense. In discarding traditional intellectual categories and seeking
new kaleidoscopic sources of inspiration, he showed parallel urges in his
ideas.'

Robert does not make clear whether he understands this paragraph or claims not 
to: if Robert does understand it, it is somewhat remarkable that he does when 
fairly recently he claimed not to have understood a long sequence of posts on 
this list which, on the face of it, were not quite so difficult to pin down as 
the notion that "Modernism...was about plurality, not singularity". Robert has 
not announced whether this long incomprehensible sequence has even ended, so we 
do not yet know, for example, whether anything posted on the CTP was at all 
comprehensible to him. 


Wishing all a happy St. Patrick's Day.


Donal
In every sense a refugee (except Tom Petty's)

London




On Monday, 17 March 2014, 20:10, Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
 
Compare with the death of Alexander Alekhine:

While planning for a World Championship match against Botvinnik,[66] Alekhine 
died in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal on March 24, 1946. The 
circumstances of his death are still a matter of debate. It is usually 
attributed to a heart attack, but a letter in Chess Life magazine from a 
witness to the autopsy stated that choking on meat was the actual cause of 
death. At autopsy, a three-inch long piece of unchewed meat was discovered 
blocking his windpipe.[79] Some have speculated that he was murdered by a 
French "death squad". A few years later, Alekhine's son, Alexander Alekhine 
Junior, said that "the hand of Moscow reached his father".[80] Canadian 
Grandmaster Kevin Spraggett, who has lived in Portugal since the late 1980s, 
and who has thoroughly investigated Alekhine's death, favors this possibility. 
Spraggett makes a case for the manipulation of the crime scene and the autopsy 
by the Portuguese secret police PIDE. He believes that Alekhine
 was murdered outside his hotel room, probably by the Soviets.[81]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Alekhine





On , Omar Kusturica <omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
 
It wasn't a suicide, but then he was a Soviet spy. This looks like some 
elementary school textbook.

O.K.



On Monday, March 17, 2014 8:37 PM, Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
 
Review of a book on Walter Benjamin in today's Wall Street Journal


http://tinyurl.com/q2qwcyp

 
'Benjamin is here as much a flesh-and-blood representative of
the modern as its theoretician. Modernism was all about the peripheral, the
ephemeral, the accidental, the transient. It was about plurality, not
singularity; ambiguity instead of certainty. Walter Benjamin traveled this
off-road, and his thought was consistent with his experience. He was an
incessant gambler, a serial adulterer, an experimenter with drugs and a refugee
in every sense. In discarding traditional intellectual categories and seeking
new kaleidoscopic sources of inspiration, he showed parallel urges in his
ideas.'
—————————————————

This paragraph alone should win its authors some sort of prize.


Robert Paul

Other related posts: