Friday, February 22, 2008
Conrad, Peter. "The Scrap Merchant Supreme [on Walter Benjamin]." GUARDIAN January 27, 2008.
'These fragments I have shored against my ruin,' says a nameless voice in TS Eliot's The Waste Land. The fragments are a collage of quotations, jumbled mementos of a lost world. For Walter Benjamin, this might have been the motive of cultural history: he, too, salvaged scraps from the wreckage of culture, anthologising quotes in the hope of reconstructing a past that he knew to be irretrievable. Having fled from Germany after the Nazi putsch, he tenderly reassembled memories of his Berlin childhood in a short, episodic autobiography that is also a tour of the city during the days of the Weimar Republic. In his Parisian exile, he conjured up the vanished Paris of the 19th century. . . . Read the rest here: http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/politicsphilosophyandsociety/0,,2247445,00.html.