On Walter Benjamin

The life and work of Walter Benjamin were inseparable. In a century full of stories of displaced intellectuals, in the words of Brecht “changing our country/more often than our shoes,” Benjamin’s story still resonates the deepest. His fascination with the nature of time and how it affected lived experience made the circumstances of his death all the more tragic. As Hannah Arendt wrote, “One day earlier Benjamin would have got through without any trouble; one day later the people in Marseille would have known that for the time being it was impossible to pass through Spain. Only on that particular day was the catastrophe possible.”

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