By James McFarland
Constellation is the 1st prolonged exploration of the connection among Walter Benjamin, the Weimar-era innovative cultural critic, and the unconventional thinker Friedrich Nietzsche. The affinity among those noncontemporaneous thinkers serves as a restrict case manifesting the precariousness and potentials of cultural transmission in a dissatisfied present.
In 5 chapters, Constellation provides the altering determine of Nietzsche as Benjamin encountered him: an thought to his scholar activism, an expert for his skeptical philology, a manifestation of his philosophical nihilism, a spouse in his political exile, and eventually a subversive collaborator in his efforts to imagine past the hopeless temporality--new and consistently the same--of the current second in history.
By excavating this missed courting philologically and elaborating its philosophical implications within the surviving texts of either males, Constellation produces new and compelling readings in their works and during them triangulates a theoretical restrict within the current, a fractured "now-time" suspended among insanity and suicide, from which the collective destiny regains a degree of consequential and transformative vitality.
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Additional resources for Constellation : Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the now-time of history
Before the suicidal closure of death, the enemy in his inverted alliance with the beloved holds open a dialogic rift in meaning. After the real suicide of his friend and ally Christoph Heinle, the event that terminates the youthful facies and precipitates Benjamin’s mature emergence in the essays on Dostoevsky and Hölderlin, in the speech “The Life of Students,” his posture toward the morbid exterior inverts from passive acquiescence to implacable resistance, and the potential marked by the polarity of the enemy and the beloved reemerges beyond annihilation to condition Benjamin’s resistance to the end.
Either to himself or to the little man. He stands dazed before a heap of fragments” (GS, 7:430; SW, 3:385). were the same ilk” (GS, 7:429–30; SW, 3:384–85). In his most idiosyncratic and personal moments of reflection, Benjamin touches, behind all its gaudy reception and pompous advocacy, the immortal strangeness of Nietzsche’s passion. It is not difficult to document the influence Friedrich Nietzsche exerted on Walter Benjamin, and to demonstrate that this influence has been neglected by the contemporary speculation that perpetuates their thought into the future.
But it soon became obvious to him that collaboration with Strauß would involve a decisive endorsement of localized Zionist goals that interfered with the unrestricted reactive scope of Benjamin’s attitudinal Culture-Zionism, and the promise of cooperation faded. Benjamin’s third letter to Strauß attempts to justify this disengagement, Mortal Youth 35 and it is here that the discussion of Nietzsche occurs. In resisting any alternate commitments that would mitigate his unconditional youthfulness, Benjamin invokes Nietzsche’s authority.
Constellation : Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in the now-time of history by James McFarland