Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Szekely, Michael. "Rethinking Benjamin: the Function of the Utopian Ideal." CULTURAL LOGIC (2006)

Sustaining a general engagement with Walter Benjamin has proven to be an endless discovery of philosophical, as well as poetical, perspectives. However, adding the theme of utopia to the discourse presents yet another dimension -- one that, paradoxically, combines philosophy and poetics explicitly, and yet with great complexity. Exemplary of this are Benjamin's views regarding "utopia," a theme that figures somewhat multi-directionally in his overall philosophical montage (this latter being Benjamin's preferred method of theoretical exploration and discovery). On the one hand, utopia is an underlying aspect of his project, one crucial aspect among many. On the other hand, utopia might be said to be the over-arching aspect of his project, the ultimate goal to which all of his work adhered. Moreover, the possibility of utopia is seen as potentially both at hand -- i.e., existing immanently in the stories and products of material culture -- and latent, until activated within something of a collective unconscious laden with scattered dreams and wishes unfulfilled. . . . Read the rest here: http://clogic.eserver.org/2006/szekely.html.

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