[lit-ideas] Re: celebrating life

  • From: Chris Bruce <bruce@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2006 00:07:47 +0200

This is one of the most inspiring celebrations of life which I have read:

"Each morning the day lies like a fresh shirt on our bed; this incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction fits us perfectly. The happiness of the next twenty-four hours depends on our ability, on waking, to pick it up. "

It's a quotation from Walter Benjamin, with which Johannes Fritsche closes his _Historical Destiny and National Socialism in Heidegger's Being and Time_ (University of California Press, 1999).

A facsimile of Walter Benjamin's address book has just been released by Koehler and Amelang GmbH:

Das Adressbuch des Exils 1933-1940 >>… wie ueberall hin die Leute verstreut sind …<<

The photos of the address book take up a very few pages (it was very slim) in the centre of this book. The remaining 240 pages are taken up with a couple of essays, and detailed commentary (the bulk of the book) on the people whose names and addresses appear in the facsimile: among others, a 'who's who' of exiles from the nazi obscenity.

Walter Benjamin committed suicide with an overdose of morphine in 1940 - that 'incomparably fine, incomparably tightly woven tissue of pure prediction' hopelessly frayed and torn by the distress of a failed attempt at flight from France into Spain shortly before the nazi occupation of Paris.

Chris Bruce
Kiel, Germany
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