Walter Benjamin Walter Benjamina German philosopher and critic, published widely on such topics as technology, language, literature, the arts, and society. He left a large body of mostly unfinished work that has been slowly published in his native country. Since the s, this fragmented work has elicited much commentary, including several thousand studies.
The Arcades Project takes its name from a nineteenth century architectural form. It also borrows its structure from that same architectural form. Arcades were passages through blocks of buildings, lined with shops and other businesses. Montaged iron and glass constructions housed chaotic juxtapositions of shop-signs, window displays of commodities, mannequins and illuminations.
As the nineteenth century gives way to the twentieth century, montage moves from being a prescript of construction in technology to art and literature: Montage construction treats its material elements as contrasting segments that must be bolted together for maximum impact.
In architecture this might lead to a dramatic exoskeleton, a whole building built up from small parts whose connectedness is on display. In textual form this means fragments, apercus, swift shifts of thought, the establishment of relationship between disparate objects, across a whole environment.
For the Arcades Project Walter Benjamin organised the thousands of index cards on which he transcribed quotations and notations into files, called Konvolute. He developed a system of cross-referencing. The files comprised a vast array of interlinked scraps.
He hid them well. He might have hoped to return one day to complete his researches. But completion was itself an issue. And so the definite significance of each passage is impossible to guess. The only certain point is that the elements were selected from the books and archives of the Bibliotheque Nationale, but in final form they would have been organised in a way that remains only inferable.
Perhaps they might always have remained as a montage of found materials interspersed with occasional comment.
Benjamin states in his file on methodology: Method of this project: I shall purloin no valuables, appropriate no ingenious formulations. But the rags, the refuse - these I will not inventory but allow, in the only way possible, to come into their own: Such a method appears analogous to dream interpretation.
What does the dream offer but images, vivid, fragmentary, intense but not understood, until later, until worked over, worked back into narrative and patterns of causation, then made useful. And Paris, home to the arcades, was an appropriate place, for it was a city most chiasmal, the capital of dreams and the dream of capital.
The arcades house the dreams of the nineteenth century masses and their masters The arcade houses a collective body, who wears it like an exoskeleton: The dreaming collective sinks down in its inner life into the arcades, just as the sleeper receives messages from his inner bodily processes, noises, blood pressure etc translated and elucidated in dream pictures.
A dream logic then is the best we might expect from such a bundle of notes and fragments and images. The dream, for Benjamin, is an index of freedom - our social dreams indicate our social utopias.
The arcades and interiors are residues of a dream world. The utilization of dream elements in waking is a textbook example of dialectical thought. Hence dialectical thought is the organ of historical awakening. Historical awakening is an aim of the project as a whole.
Benjamin would be the wide-awake, and wide-eyed dream interpreter of history. The nineteenth century is, as the Surrealists say, the noises which intervene in our dreams and which we interpret when awake. But what of the book that has now come to be in the absence of the project having been able to fulfill its aim.
There are few signposts in its arcades of quotations. The panoramic purview came about by collecting statements, analyses and responses from many perspectives. Its sections are named after a charged nineteenth century space and a figure who is closely associated with that space:Skip to main content.
Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. search Search the Wayback Machine. Featured texts All Texts latest This Just In Smithsonian Libraries FEDLINK (US) Genealogy Lincoln Collection Full text of "Benjamin Walter The Arcades Project". The Arcades Project: Walter Benjamin, Howard Eiland, Kevin McLaughlin: Books - grupobittia.comews: 4.
Walter Bendix Schönflies Benjamin (b. 15 July –d. 27 September ) was a 20th-century literary critic, theorist, and essayist. most notably of the composition and major themes of The Arcades Project (Benjamin , Walter Benjamin: An Introduction to his Work and Thought.
Translated by Michael Winkler. Chicago: University of. Immediately download the The Arcades Project summary, chapter-by-chapter analysis, book notes, essays, quotes, character descriptions, lesson plans, and more - everything you need for studying or teaching The Arcades Project.
The Passagenwerk or Arcades Project was an unfinished project of German literary critic Walter Benjamin, written between and An enormous collection of writings on the city life of Paris in the 19th century, it was especially concerned with Paris' iron -and- glass covered " arcades " (known in French as the passages couverts de Paris).
Jan 16, · the passages of paris and of benjamin's mind**Herbert Muschamp article on arcades of Paris, as described in Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, just now published in .