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The Image of Benjamin1
The Image of Benjamin
David Kaufmann

Benjamin’s writings are an attempt in ever new ways to make philosophically fruitful what has not yet been foreclosed by great intentions. The task he bequeathed was not to abandon such an attempt to the estranging enigmas of thought alone, but to bring the intention less within the realm of concepts: the obligation to think at the same time dialectically and undialectically.

T.W. Adorno (Adorno, 2006a: 151–2; emphasis added)

The Figure of Contradiction

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) has always cut a difficult figure. Mystical Marxist, materialist Jew, he was the self-conscious embodiment of contradiction. He performed contradiction in his work and in his life. He triangulated friendships with any number of the most important and opposed ...

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