Sunday, January 17, 2016

"… the fan of memory …"

Again and again I return to the writings of Walter Benjamin. Though these returns usually begin in the middle of his books, this time I begin with the first piece in Reflections -- "Berlin Chronicle".

On Proust, Benjamin writes:

He who has once begun to open the fan of memory never comes to the end of its segments; no image satisfies him, for he has seen how it can be unfolded, and only in its folds does the truth reside; that image, that taste, that touch for whose sake all this has been unfurled and dissected; and now remembrance advances from small to smallest details, from the smallest to the infinitesimal, while that which it encounters in these microcosms grows ever mightier.

So much going on in that sentence, from the hard science of physics to the creamy metaphors of Deleueze, Kristeva and Irigaray (fold), and those of Althusser and Levinas (encounter). One might even see an analogue with the internet. Just replace the "fan of memory" with "porn site".

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