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Vor- und Nachgeschichte Bild und Zeit bei Walter Benjamin

Cornelia Zumbusch

Published online:

01 Jul 2018



Benjamin’s approach to the history of the nineteenth century as a prehistory (Vorgeschichte) of modernity relies on his concept of the dialectical image. Starting from Benjamin’s interpretation of Proust’s narrative endeavor as the evocation of images that have not been seen before, this essay tries to situate Benjamin’s dialektisches Bild in new contexts. Examining Benjamin’s interest in Goethe’s Urphänomen as well as implicit references to Lessing’s concept of fruchtbarer Augenblick or Cassirer’s idea of symbolische Prägnanz, this essay stresses not so much the important but often considered aspects of discontinuity and destruction of chronological time, but tries to trace a hidden agenda: the affinity of Benjamin’s dialectical image to genetic processes.

Other articles in this issue:

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