Download Constellation: Friedrich Nietzsche and Walter Benjamin in by James McFarland PDF

By James McFarland

Constellation is the 1st prolonged exploration of the connection among Walter Benjamin, the Weimar-era progressive cultural critic, and the novel thinker Friedrich Nietzsche. The affinity among those noncontemporaneous thinkers serves as a restrict case manifesting the precariousness and potentials of cultural transmission in a upset present.

In 5 chapters, Constellation provides the altering determine of Nietzsche as Benjamin encountered him: an concept to his scholar activism, an expert for his skeptical philology, a manifestation of his philosophical nihilism, a spouse in his political exile, and finally a subversive collaborator in his efforts to imagine past the hopeless temporality--new and continually the same--of the current second in history.

By excavating this overlooked dating 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

Sample text

Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1992. GSc Friedrich Nietzsche. The Gay Science. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1974. HA Friedrich Nietzsche. Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits. Translated by R. J. Hollingdale. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986. HCC Georg Lukács. History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics. Translated by Rodney Livingstone. : MIT Press, 1971. KGW Friedrich Nietzsche. Werke: Kritische Gesamtausgabe. Edited by Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari.

The interminability of the refrain is its birthright, for before it adorned Longfellow’s banner it had been inscribed across the scroll of an actual crest, the Seal of the State of New York, where Longfellow noticed it and was inspired. The seal with its Latin motto had been designed in 1777, during the American Revolution, by John Jay, to replace the Crown Seal in use by the colonial administration. Its motto registers that original revolutionary perspective on tradition, anchoring the inherently retrospective aspect of an act of authoritative endorsement not in any actual aristocratic heritage but in a blank assertion of the future.

If, though, the attempt has recently been made to eliminate Podach’s theses through such constructions,” Benjamin concluded, “that was likely not only to avoid the conclusion ‘that here a man was driven mad by his intellectual hubris,’ but out of reticence at integrating into his thought-massif those abysses that opened up in the last weeks of Nietzsche’s existence. For they are abysses that separate him forever from the spirit of pointless industry [Betriebsamkeit] and philistinism that dominates the Nietzsche Archive” (GS, 3:325–26).

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