Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Benjamin at the Rose & Crown

Benjamin's Paris address book

A merry meeting last night in the Rose & Crown - one of our local pubs. This was first time all four of the quarters have reconvened since the Solstice, so it was an opportunity to share words, pictures and photographs, and to make plans. There was an impromptu reading session from our various journals, which sparked discussion about the power and energy of the collective mind. Several intriguingly overlapping ideas, themes and even words emerged.

At one point late in the evening I tried to paraphrase a quote from Walter Benjamin's The Arcades Project - kindly sent to me recently by a fascinating new friend, Terri Mullholland. It was a feeble attempt at verbal recall and so I've decided maybe the safest place to keep the quote is here. Though I should probably also write it into my journal. Benjamin's words raise the hairs on the back of my neck which means, for reasons I have not yet entirely discovered, they are important:
‘The interior is not just the universe but also the √©tui of the private individual. To dwell means to leave traces. In the interior, these are accentuated. Coverlets and antimacassars, cases and containers are devised in abundance; in these, the traces of the most ordinary objects of use are imprinted. In just the same way, the traces of the inhabitant are imprinted in the interior...’

[Walter Benjamin, Exposé of 1935, in Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project, trans. by Howard Eiland and Kevin McLaughlin (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), p. 9.]

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful quote, this man has managed to write about our very essence in the most beautiful gentile way.