‘Ideas are to objects as constellations are to stars’
‘Epistemo-Critical Prologue’, The Origin of German Tragic Drama, p.34.
I think what I love most about this quote is that it raises the question: can Benjamin be used as an IQ test? Not so much in the sense of ‘if you can understand it you pass’, but, the model of his logic. eg.
Q1. Ideas are to objects as constellations are to __________.
c) Classical Greece
I’m quite certain that if I ever had to be involved in devising an assessment for a course on Benjamin, I would structure it in this way.
Yes, to reply to your comment on my blog, when Ella became aware of this last night she said, “I don’t think Walter Benjamin would approve of a Walter Benjamin Smackdown.” I have a suspicion she meant she didn’t approve of it, but I’m not sure. Anyway, how would we know what WB would think?
Anyway, I’m inclined to agree with Miriam that it needs some rules or structure. And maybe less quotes – fourteen? Then again maybe the rules will work themselves – look at us commenting on each others quotes …
This is one of the many examples of the WB’s eminent quotability. You can read it and read it but it never gives itself up. I’ve read few pages of this. I’ve heard people talk it being ‘difficult’ – and the title looks like a warning to this effect ‘Epistemo-Critical Prologue’ (or maybe that’s your nice serif font – how did you get it?)
Trying to remember another cool quote I like in the ‘As are to Bs as Xs are to Ys’ format…
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