Walter Benjamin

Walter Bendix Schenflies Benjamin (15 July 1892-27 September 1940) was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher. He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also influenced by the writings of his younger contemporaries Bertolt Brecht, who developed critical aesthetics of dialectical materialism, and Gershom Scholem, who founded modern, academic study of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism

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Any translation which intends to perform a transmitting function cannot transmit anything but information -- hence, something inessential. This is the hallmark of bad translations.
Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collector's passion borders on the chaos of memories.
Gifts must affect the receiver to the point of shock.
He who observes etiquette but objects to lying is like someone who dresses fashionably but wears no vest.
Memory is not an instrument for exploring the past but its theatre. It is the medium of past experience, as the ground is the medium in which dead cities lie interred.
Nothing is poorer than a truth expressed as it was thought. Committed to writing in such cases, it is not even a bad photograph. Truth wants to be startled abruptly, at one stroke, from her self-immersion, whether by uproar, music or cries for help.
Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method. Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.
Opinions are a private matter. The public has an interest only in judgments.
Separation penetrates the disappearing person like a pigment and steeps him in gentle radiance.
The art of the critic in a nutshell: to coin slogans without betraying ideas. The slogans of an inadequate criticism peddle ideas to fashion.
The destructive character lives from the feeling, not that life is worth living, but that suicide is not worth the trouble.
The only way of knowing a person is to love them without hope.

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